• Via offers shares only to local investors in discounted sale
  • Foreigners may get slice of company in secondary offering: CEO

Via GYO, a Turkish real estate investment trust, limited an initial public offering to domestic investors after international buyers demanded more of the securities than the company was willing to sell at a discount.

The operator of theme parks and shopping centers in Istanbul decided to offer 25 percent of its 90 million shares to domestic investors, with Istanbul-based brokers Finans Yatirim Menkul Degerler AS as the IPO adviser, Chairman Coskun Bayraktar said in an interview in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Via disregarded suggestions by HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc., both hired to manage sales to international investors, that the owners consider as much as 40 percent stake sale, he said. 

The shares are being issued at a 40 percent discount to the company’s net asset value of 3.3 billion liras ($1.2 billion) minus its debt, which is the typical average for a REIT in Turkey, Bayraktar said.

“Selling 40 percent of shares at a discount of 40 percent at the IPO would not support what we aim with this sale plan,” he said. “After a lock-up period of six months following the IPO, we can consider secondary or more share sales and then consider international investors.”

The IPO is expected to earn the three founding partners, including Bayraktar, 306 million liras after selling shares at 13.6 liras a share on May 5-6, he said. The first day of trading is set for May 11. Proceeds from the IPO will be kept for three months to offer investors an option to sell their shares back to the owners at 14 liras apiece, Bayraktar said.

The IPO is the second in Turkey this year after that of Cuhadaroglu Metal Sanayi Ve Pazarlama AS, which has gained 56 percent since listing in February.

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