Turkey's TAV aims to buy rest of its Havas unit soon

ISTANBUL Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:06am EDT

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish airports operator TAV Havalimanlari Holding (TAVHL.IS) aims to complete the purchase of the remaining 35 percent of its Havas ground handling services unit soon, Chief Executive Sani Sener said on Monday.

Sener told Reuters that a possible initial public offering of the unit, which has been on the cards for some time, would depend on market conditions.

"We have wanted an IPO in Havas for a long time. We expressed back in 2008 when we owned 100 percent of Havas that we wanted to hold an IPO ... We will evaluate it depending on market conditions," Sener said.

TAV sold 35 percent of Havas to HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) and Turkey's Is Girisim Sermayesi Yatirim Ortakligi (ISGSY.IS) in 2009, when the unit was valued at 180 million euros ($225 million).

TAV said on August 24 it had begun talks with HSBC and Is Girisim about buying their stake in Havas.

"Falling operating profit and disputes with municipalities regarding airport shuttle services impacted Havas' attractiveness negatively," said Is Investment analyst Efe Kalkandelen.

"Delays to the IPO process left this as the only option for partners to exit. At this stage, it's important what price TAV would pay to buy back these shares."

TAV shares were up 0.43 percent at 9.30 lira. Is Girisim shares rose 4.35 percent to 2.16 lira.

TAV Holding, part of TAV Group, runs 10 airports including in Tunisia, Macedonia and Georgia, as well as Turkey's biggest airport Istanbul Ataturk.

($1 = 0.7989 euros)

(Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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