The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) has purchased a 25% stake in D Marinas BV, part of the large Turkish business conglomerate Doğuş, for around €70m. D Marinas BV operates a network of 10 marinas in Croatia, Turkey and Greece.

In a statement, London, UK-based EBRD said: “The EBRD has signed investment agreements to become a shareholder in D Marinas BV, the holding company for a network of currently 10 marinas in Croatia, Greece, and Turkey, operating under the brand name D-Marin.”

The D-Marin brand actually operates 11 marinas, having taken on Montenegro’s Portonovi Marina in January this year, but there is no mention of this country in the press information issued. The Doğuş Group, either through D-Marin or one of its investment arms, also hold a 10.87% stake in ACI, the Croatian state-controlled company that operates 22 marinas in Croatia. Doğuş also has shipyard holdings involving MB’92 in Barcelona, and Blohm + Voss La Ciotat and Compositeworks in France.

“D Marinas BV, whose ultimate beneficial owner is Turkish conglomerate Doğuş Holding, is the largest and only international chain of marinas in the eastern Mediterranean, boasting some 8,000 berths,” the EBRD stated. “The funds will be used to finance the company’s growth plans, including the development of marina management operations, further acquisitions, and deleveraging.”

The equity purchase deal was signed in Zagreb between Doğuş Holding management board chair Ferit F Sahenk, EBRD first vice-president Juergen Rigterink, D Marinas management board chair Burak Baykan, the EBRD regional director for Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovenia, Vedrana Jelusic Kasic, the EBRD regional director for central and southeast Europe and other Doğuş Group and EBRD representatives.

Rigterink said: “The investment aims to open up new opportunities for local businesses as well as create new jobs. The beginning of the tourism season is the right time to sign such an important investment where the EBRD can provide much-needed capital for the next steps of development in the tourism sector which is so important for Croatia, Greece and Turkey.”

Ferit Sahenk, Doğuş’s chairman, added: “The partnership highlights Turkey’s efforts and success to become an internationally known brand. This agreement is testament to D Marinas’ success, especially in the eastern Mediterranean basin, where the potential for tourism is still rising, and accordingly our strategy is to expand further in the region. We are proud that Doğuş Group’s long-term strategy of investing in the tourism and specifically the marina business has been recognised by such an important institution such as the EBRD.”

This new investment is the biggest equity investment in the tourism sector to date. As part of the new partnership, technical cooperation funds provided by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund will be used to finance training programmes and work-based learning opportunities for young people and women.

This investment comes under the new EBRD Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean which aims to support local tourism sectors to grow and upgrade through investments in hotels and tourism operators.

The 10 marinas mentioned in the deal are as follows:

  • Turkey – Gocek, Didim and Turguteris
  • Greece – Flisvos, Zea, Lefkus and Gouvia
  • Croatia – Mandalina, Dalmacija and Boric