Interest from Gulf economies turn to investment in Turkey

Edge Capital, a private equity firm based in Beirut, has announced 250 Million USD investment in the Turkish real estate sector within the next 5 years.

Naji Boutros, CEO, Edge Capital attended a press gathering at Divan Hotel Istanbul with Levent Eyuboglu, Vice Chairman of Turkmall Group and drew attention to the growing importance of Turkey for both the Gulf and investors worldwide, focusing on Turkey`s rapidly developing economy and its unique geopolitical strength.

Naji Boutros, formerly an executive at Colony Capital which is one of the world`s largest investment corporations, said he had a special connection with Turkey because his ancestors were originally from Antioch. Boutros stated that the company will soon underwrite leading real estate projects in Turkey as a result of their extensive international experience and the outstanding entrepreneurial skill base in Turkey. Mr. Boutros underscored how happy they were to engage with Turkmall in their joint venture.

 Edge Capital has a 25 % stake in Turkmall Real Estate, which is the real estate business run by Turkmall. The share of Edge Capital depends on the development projects run by Turkmall Real Estate. Edge Capital has shares in the Novada Outlet, Soke, built by Turkmall and the Bulvar Samsun Shopping and Lifestyle Center in Samsun. Edge Capital and Turkmall are now preparing to undertake a series of leading investments outside Turkey, including a real estate development project co-developed by Quatari investors in the heart of Beirut, a number of shopping centers in Tunisia, including different international investors and multiple real estate development projects in Kazakhistan. Edge Capital also has a stake in the Tokat and Kesan projects developed by Turkmall in Turkey.

The companies have agreed in principle on a 50 % distribution of shares in this joint venture.

Edge Capital plans to invest 250 million USD in real estate in 5 years. Furthermore, Edge Capital has very strong ties with the international investment community. Levent Eyuboglu stated that their goal is to attract up to a billion dollars in international investment in Turkey, underpinned by the joint venture with Edge Capital. Naji Boutros remarked the outstanding results achieved in their partnership with Mars Entertainment 5 years ago helped convince them to take further investment decisions in Turkey. In spite of the global recession, Boutros complimented on Turkey`s strong economic performance and its young and dynamic demographics which are some of the leading elements for Turkey to become an attractive place for investment for all international investors, including the Gulf. `Compared to 2007 when we invested in Turkey there is now a growing level of interest and confidence in the Turkish economy from around the globe. Turkey`s population of 75 million and the annual increase in the population by about a million people pose a great opportunity for investors. This creates a substantial drive for both production and consumption with an average age of 30, Turkey already possesses the right demographic pyramid for a strong economy. There will be many more investments to come in the next 5 years as interest and confidence in Turkey is maintained. We, for one, are very happy to have a role in investments made in Turkey.`

Boutros added that they have plans to also invest in entertainment while they still pursue opportunities in areas other than real estate development.