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Indeks Eyes Balkan Investments on Stake Sale, Chairman Says

The sale of a minority stake in Turkey’s Indeks Bilgisayar Sistemleri Muhendislik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS to a Polish fund may pave the way for new investments, the company’s chairman and main shareholder said.

Erol Bilecik, chairman of the Istanbul-based technology company, agreed to sell a 20 percent stake to Warsaw-listed MCI Management SA at 4.35 liras a share, according to a filing with the Istanbul Stock Exchange today. The sale, at a 4.4 percent discount to yesterday’s closing price, values the company at 243.6 million liras ($134 million).

“There’s a high possibility for Indeks and ABC Data SA to jointly invest in the Balkans,” Bilecik said in a phone interview today, referring to a Warsaw-based technology company which is majority-owned by MCI. Such investments could be in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and also in Lithuania, he said.

Indeks shares fell 3.7 percent to 4.38 liras at the close in Istanbul, the lowest level since Jan. 28. Shares traded were 2.5 times the stock’s daily three-month average volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The drop pared this year’s gain to 2.1 percent.

The sale price is “fair,” Bilecik said. “The benefits of synergies, with MCI being an international player and us knowing the core business well, will contribute greatly to investors.” MCI offered to buy shares, seeing Indeks as “probably a five to 10 year investment,” he said. Bilecik’s stake in the company will drop to 35.9 percent after the sale.

Indeks and ABC Data may “join forces to grow at under-penetrated markets,” Basak Dinckoc, an analyst at Is Investment in Istanbul, said in an e-mailed note today. “We believe that the partnership will create new opportunities for Indeks in the long-term.”

Indeks trades at seven times estimated 12-month earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a multiple of 7.2 for ABC Data and 9.7 for South Africa’s DataTec Ltd. Indeks’s third-quarter net income fell to 4.37 million liras from 7.93 million liras in the same period in 2011, according to its filing to the Istanbul bourse on Nov. 14.

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