Turkish carrier attracts Saudi investment
Manara Investments Ltd has acquired a 21% equity stake in Istanbul-based cargo carrier ACT Airlines.
The investment will reportedly allow the carrier to expand its presence in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe. Manara is a newly established investment company sponsored by four leading Saudi business groups.
"This new partnership brings our investor base to a multinational level reflecting our unique way of bridging cultures; just as our home base of Istanbul links two continents. We are pleased to be aligned with a visionary group such as Manara," said Yavuz Çizmeci, chairman and CEO, ACT Airlines.
Although ACT began operations in 2004, the company's profile was enhanced two years later when it was brought by Yavuz Çizmeci and Cankut Bagana, two of Turkey's aviation veterans, in partnership with HBK Investments. Under this new management team, the carrier's fleet of A300s has grown from two to seven, while its workforce now numbers over 250 employees.
Identifying the growth of both the regional and international airfreight industry, Manara believes ACT will now be well positioned to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
"Manara is delighted with this new strategic partnership and we expect ACT Airlines to become a leading regional and international player," said Manara representative, Adeeb Ahmad.