IFM to buy Turkish port stake for $869m

Mersin is the first seaport investment in the Australian fund manager’s global infrastructure equity portfolio.

IFM Investor’s Global Infrastructure Fund will pay $869 million to buy 40 percent of Mersin International Port, Turkey’s largest import/export port, from local infrastructure company Akfen.

The Australian fund manager will join the Port of Singapore Authority in the Turkish investment, with Akfen retaining a 10 percent stake. The transaction is expected to close by the end of September, subject to government approval. 

Akfen and the Port of Singapore Authority were awarded the rights to operate Mersin port for 36 years for around $755 million in 2007. They have since spent an additional $453.3 million to increase the port’s capacity by eight times, Akfen said. 

Mersin will be IFM’s fourth port investment, alongside existing investments in the Port of Brisbane, Port Botany and Port Kembla in Australia. It is, however, the first seaport to be included in IFM’s global infrastructure equity portfolio, the manager said. 

The Mersin port is located at the intersection of maritime shipping routes from the Mediterranean, Western Europe, the Far East and North America. The majority of cargo at the port is shipped to or from Asia and Europe, IFM said. It is within a 500km radius of 16 cities, with a 24 percent market share.

IFM manages A$86 billion ($68.4 billion; €57.8 billion) on behalf of 28 Australian superannuation funds, about A$37 billion of which was invested in infrastructure assets, as of April. The firm has recently made an offer to take over Mexican concession company OHL Concesiones for about $1.2 billion, and bought a controlling stake in the UK’s M6 toll road.