ANKARA - Bloomberg
Turkish sports club Galatasaray, said it plans to borrow as much as $170 million to finance a merger between its publicly traded merchandising unit, Galatasaray Sportif Sinai & Ticari Yatirimlari, and the parent company.
The Istanbul-based club will seek as much as $100 million in long-term bank loans and also sell between $50 million and $70 million of bonds, it said in a filing with the Istanbul Stock Exchange Friday. Goldman Sachs Group is advising on the borrowing, which will be used to finance a buyout of minority shareholders in Sportif before the planned merger, and to restructure the club's debts, the filing said.
Galatasaray Sportif shares rose as much as 8.7 percent, the most in six weeks, on expectations of an offer to minority investors above the current price. The stock traded at YTL 157 in Istanbul Friday, up 4.7 percent from Thursday.
Galatasaray shares gained more than 60 percent since the start of the year. The shares traded at around YTL 105 until June and then skyrocketed to as much as YTL 159 on July 22.
“If Galatasaray is going to use that money for the call offer, that means the offer price will be very high,” said Kurthan Atmaca, an analyst at Ekspres Invest in Istanbul. “That's why the shares are rising.”
Investors in Galatasaray Sportif, including the biggest minority shareholder, Cayman Islands-based investment fund QVT Financial, have opposed the merger plan, saying it breached commitments made to investors.
QVT said in June that Galatasaray Sportif shareholders should be offered at least YTL 220 ($177) per share if the merger goes ahead.
Turkey's market regulator said in April last year that the offer should be based on the average share price in the three months before the merger plan was announced in August 2006. That would be YTL 122.8.
QVT owns about 25 percent of Galatasaray Sportif. Galatasaray Futbol, which is planning to merge with the unit, owns 63 percent according to Bloomberg data.
Galatasaray said Friday it invited shareholders to an extraordinary meeting on Oct. 18 to discuss the merger.