KKR buys Turkish short sea shipping operator
New York-based investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. said a newly formed company owned by funds it advises will acquire a 97.6 percent sake in Turkish shipping company U.N Ro-Ro Isletmeleri A.S. for about $1.3 billion
The company runs regular short sea shipping services using roll-on/roll-off ships between the Pendik and Ambarli terminals in Istanbul and Trieste, Italy.
The company was started in 1994 as a way of bypassing war-torn Yugoslavia and moving goods between Turkey and Western Europe.
Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions including competition approvals in Turkey, Italy, Austria and Germany, and is expected to occur before the end of the year. It operates nine vessels and transports 37 percent of the truck traffic between Turkey and Europe.
The company will continue to be based in Turkey and KKR said it intends to develop and grow U.N. Ro-Ro’s business.
John Pfeffer, a KKR partner, said the company believed trade between Turkey and Europe will grow, and that the company planned to continue to “provide a high-quality, reliable service at a competitive cost, investing in new ships and capacity and contributing to the success of the truckers and exporters it serves.”