Greek ferry operator NEL eyes Turkish peer

Greek ferry operator NEL will invite its shareholders on Thursday to approve an agreement enabling it to buyout a Turkish peer and tap growth in the neighbouring market in a bid to offset growing losses at home.

NEL Lines, which operates a fleet of 15 vessels in the Aegean Sea, plans to take part in the privatisation of Turkey’s IDO Istanbul Deniz Otobusleri Sanayi ve Ticaret being sold by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Participation in the privatization will be done via a joint investment consortium with Turkey?s Rhea Girisim Sermayesi Yatirim Ortakligi, according to the Greek company.

Expansion into Turkey could help improve NEL?s financial health that has been deteriorating on falling domestic demand and rising fuel prices.

In the first nine months of last year, NEL saw its consolidated group loss widen to 20.1 million euros versus a loss of 11.08 million in the same period a year earlier.

IDO, which has a current fleet size of 52 vessels, runs sea routes within Istanbul and along the coastal line of the Marmara region.

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