Stagecoach founder Sir Brian Souter said he is concerned about the prospects of an Istanbul ferry company he and other Scots entrepreneurs invested in after the Turkish government moved to introduce competition on its routes.
Souter’s investment company bought a 30 per cent stake in Istanbul Deniz Otonuslen (IDO), which operates 52 ferries and “sea buses” in the waters around the Turkish capital and carries 50 million passengers a year.
The consortium, including Scots investors Souter, his sister Ann Gloag and Sir Angus Grossart as well as Turkish companies Tepe, Akfen and Sera, paid Istanbul Municipality $861 million (£540m) for the business when it was privatised last year.
But Souter now says that an attempt to introduce competition on its most profitable route by bringing in another venture “breached the integrity” of the privatisation, as he was led to believe the routes would remain exclusive for longer.
He said the unexpected competitor meant IDO might not be able to run some less profitable services.
Souter announced in August that he is to stand down as chief executive of Stagecoach for the second time, becoming chairman in May. He previously left the chief executive’s job in 1998, but returned four years later.
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