Jul 05 2018

Bereket of Turkey selling assets in $4 billion debt talks

Turkey’s Bereket Enerji is seeking buyers for two power plants as it negotiates with banks to refinance $4 billion in debt.

Bereket is joining other Turkish energy companies in holding talks with banks, Bloomberg reported, citing seven people with knowledge of the plan.

The company has hired Yapi Kredi Yatirim, a Turkish investment company and advisory service, to find buyers for the two hydroelectric plants, Bloomberg’s Kerim Karakaya and Ercan Ersoy said. It is seeking at least $400 million for the assets, they reported, citing two of the people..

Known restructuring requests by Turkish companies now total almost $20 billion, with other talks likely remaining a mystery because the firms aren’t publicly listed or large enough to require disclosures. Other firms that have sought to renegotiate the terms of their loans include Yildiz Holding, the maker of Godiva chocolates, and Oger Telecom, the owner of Turk Telekom, Turkey’s largest phone company.

Turkish banks including Akbank TAS are to set up a special purpose vehicle to take over Turk Telekom from Oger’s Turkish unit, Bloomberg reported earlier.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could have more of a say about which companies should go bust or can benefit from renewed financing, according to a presidential edict published this week. Erdogan takes over that responsibility from a legal body, according to the edict’s details, which revise existing laws.

Turkish firms are lumbered with more than $220 billion in foreign-denominated debt, which has become more difficult to repay after the lira slumped to record lows against the dollar. The currency has fallen more than 20 percent this year. Ratings agencies including Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have cited the debt problems when downgrading Turkey’s sovereign bonds further into junk territory.