Turkish Manufacturer Half-Owned by Qatar May Get New Stakeholder

Tosyali Holding is in talks to buy a stake in a Turkish truck and armored vehicle producer that’s half-owned by Qatar, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Turkish steelmaker is negotiating the purchase of shares in BMC Sanayi ve Ticaret AS with businessman Ethem Sancak, who controls 25% of the company, said the people, asking not to be named because the deliberations are confidential.

Qatar Armed Forces Industry Committee holds 49.9% in a special purpose vehicle, Es Mali Yatirim, which controls BMC. The Ozturk family owns the remaining 25.1%.

Tosyali and Sancak declined to comment.

BMC, which traces its roots back more than half a century to a venture with the British Motor Corp., has expanded beyond truck manufacturing after Sancak won an auction in 2014 to purchase it from the Turkish government for 751 million liras, the equivalent of more than $360 million at the time. Later the same year, it sold almost half the company to the Qatari side.

Under the new ownership structure, BMC has looked to produce tanks and armored vehicles, primarily for the Turkish military. The company signed agreements to buy engines and transmissions from two South Korean companies for its Altay tanks last month.

Turk Tank Maker Signs Deal With South Korea That Germany Shunned

Ties between Turkey and Qatar have deepened since a coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016, when he received backing from the Gulf nation’s rulers.

Turkey returned the favor a year later by siding with Qatar when it came under an economic boycott from a group of countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a diplomatic conflict that wasn’t resolved until earlier this year. Turkey has also stationed troops and steadily built up a base in Qatar since 2017.

Qatar, a major Gulf gas producer, has pledged as much as $15 billion of investment and offered a credit line to backstop Turkey’s financial system at the height of its currency crisis in 2018. Turkish and Qatari central banks tripled the limit of their existing swap deal last year.

Qatar announced a series of high-profile deals with Turkey last November, including the purchase by its wealth fund of a 10% stake in Borsa Istanbul.

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