Builder of Kuwait's $4.6bn airport revives IPO

Chairperson eyes Kuwait as base for 'future investments'
Limak Investments is part of a group building Istanbul’s new six-runway airport
By Bloomberg
Sun 25 Mar 2018 07:15 PM

Limak Investments, which is part of a group building Istanbul’s new six-runway airport, is considering an initial public offering later this year or next, rekindling a plan it shelved in 2011 after equity markets tumbled.

"We are looking for the right window to move forward," chairwoman Ebru Özdemir said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Kuwait. "All our companies are ready. Our cement group is the second-biggest cement group in Turkey. Our infrastructure and energy groups, likewise."

Limak has expanded into building roads in Russia and airports in Kosovo, Senegal and Kuwait, and now has 65,000 employees and operations in 17 countries since touting the sale of a 30 percent stake in its business seven years ago.

The company may come to market amid a boom in Turkish share sales that last year jumped to the highest since 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

This year may be more than five times 2017’s levels, according to local brokerage, Is Yatirim.

One of the projects Limak is working on is the Istanbul airport, which will open in October with an initial annual capacity of 90 million passengers, rising to 200 million when it’s completed, Özdemir said. Limak will operate the facility with its partners for 25 years. The airport will be one of the largest in the world and compares with Dubai’s Al Maktoum International, which will be able to handle more than 220 million travelers when it is done.

No advisers have been chosen for the IPO yet, Özdemir said.

Kuwait base

Half of Limak’s revenue is from construction, while other segments include power generation, distribution and trading, cement, infrastructure, and hotels, she said.

Limak’s $4.6 billion airport project in Kuwait, awarded in 2016, will have an ultimate capacity of 50 million travellers a year.

Özdemir said there are still more projects to bid on in Kuwait as the country embarks on a 17-year plan to wean its economy from dependence on oil.

After winning the airport project, "we turned our attention to this region, and especially Kuwait, and would like to use Kuwait as our base for future investments," Özdemir said.

Limak plans to partner with local investors to win infrastructure projects in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Oman, she said.

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