Turkish real estate firm Akfen GYO restructures $215 million of debt

Akfen GYO, one of Turkey’s largest real estate investment trusts and hotel operators, secured an agreement with banks to restructure 177.7 million euros ($215 million) of debt.

The company will repay capital and interest to Credit Europe Bank and Turkey’s Fibabank over 10 years, it said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Akfen GYO, which controls almost two dozen hotels of the Ibis and Novotel brands in Turkey and Russia, sought to restructure the debt due the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism and hotel industries. That led to a significant fell in revenues, it said.

The company said it will increase its paid-in capital to 357 million liras ($48.6 million) from 243.1 million liras after the agreement.

Turkish companies are finding foreign currency-denominated debt more expensive to repay after a currency crisis in 2018 slashed the lira's value by almost one-third. The currency fell by an additional 20 percent against the dollar last year.

In 2015, Afen GYO refinanced 60 million euros of debt and investment projects with Credit Europe and Fibabank, Reuters reported at the time.