* Group to seek long-term investors for listed units
* Share sales would increase free float
* Also looking at Pasabahce unit flotation
By Ece Toksabay and Ceyda Caglayan
ISTANBUL, May 30 (Reuters) - Turkey’s leading glass maker Sisecam plans a series of share sales by its publicly traded companies, hoping to attract new long-term investors, its CEO Ahmet Kirman told Reuters.
Istanbul-based Sisecam, a maker of car windscreens to jam jars, has been led by Kirman as chief executive since April 2011, since when it has pursued a strategy of becoming one of the glass industry’s top three globally via acquisitions and joint ventures.
Kirman said the group, whose four listed units are Trakya Cam, Anadolu Cam, Soda Sanayii and Denizli Cam, also continues to work on a stock market flotation of its glass tablewear unit Pasabahce.
“We may increase the free float (of readily tradeable shares) ... of other shares as well as holding a public offering for Pasabahce,” said Kirman, who has been a senior company executive since 2006.
Pasabahce has a special place in Turkish industry given it was established in 1935 by the country’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in order to develop a glass industry.
Sisecam, which said earlier this year it was working on a flotation of Pasabahce by the end of 2013, was also considering investment plans in the North American household glassware market and in glass packaging in Kazakhstan.
It was also seeking investment opportunities in soda ash outside Turkey, Kirman said in an interview.
The company, already the world’s sixth-largest flat glass producer and third-largest glassware producer according to its website, owns various businesses in eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Egypt, although half of its revenue is derived from the Turkish market.
“We are more focused on growth in the markets we already operate rather than seeking entry into new markets,” Kirman said, signalling Sisecam’s growth plans will be implemented mainly in Turkey’s neighbouring countries and Russia.
The company’s Trakya Cam unit in October bought 44 percent of India’s HNG Float Glass Ltd, majority owned by Hindusthan National Glass and 12 percent owned by International Finance Corp.
Sisecam made its debut eurobond issue in May with a $500 million seven-year bond, taking advantage of scarce Turkish corporate supply, but Kirman said the company had no further borrowing plans.
“We are not in search of financing at the moment, but we can consider eurobond or sukuk issues in the future when necessary, after receiving $3.2 billion bids for our $500 million debut issue,” said Kirman.
Sisecam is 65.5 percent owned by lender Isbank and a 26.3 percent stake is listed on the Istanbul bourse.
Last year, Sisecam had consolidated revenue of 5.34 billion lira ($2.9 billion) and net profit of 294.1 million.
Sisecam aims to raise glass production to 4 million tonnes in 2013 from 3.7 million last year and raise soda ash production to 2 million tonnes from 1.8 million in 2012, Kirman said. ($1 = 1.8580 Turkish liras) (Editing by David Holmes)