Turkey’s Dogus Group Sells Off Marinas in Republic of Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of January, 2020, Dogus Group, a Turkish company that is continuing the process of selling off its assets as part of its restructuring to get out of the financial issues that were caused by a significant drop in the Turkish lira, explained the move in detail.

Although Dogus Group said midway through last year that their property sale process would not cover their portfolio in Croatia, they clearly found a good buyer, and CVC VII’s CVC Capital Partners fully acquired all three Croatian marinas from D-Marin, Borik, Dalmatia and Mandalina. With the acquisition of the D-Marin brand, in addition to the Croatian Dogus portfolio, a marina in Greece and the UAE was also ”settled”, but the transaction price hasn’t been mentioned.

“Croatia’s D-Marin marinas managed another successful year with revenue of around 16 million euros, while other Dogus Group companies operating in Croatia have performed positively and are committed to further optimising their operations and focusing on the new 2020 tourist season. We can confirm that all of D-Marin’s management and operations teams, as a successful marina owner and operator, will continue to fulfill their previous tasks,” stated Dogus Group in a response to an inquiry on the matter.

They also pointed out that the contract does not include Dogus Group hotels in Croatia, D-Resort in Šibenik and Villa Dubrovnik, and they haven’t commented on speculations that this part of the portfolio is for sale in Croatia. Additionally, the fate of their Maraska project in Zadar, which in addition to the first Croatian Hotel Hyatt was supposed to have a residential part to it, remains unknown. According to CVC, all marinas in Turkey (Turgutreis, Didim and Göcek) will remain owned by the Dogus Group as long as they are operated by D-Marin.

Founded back in 1981, CVC is a leading global venture and credit fund, managing assets totaling an enormous 80.5 billion US dollars through a global network of 24 local offices across Europe, America and the Asia Pacific region. Their headquarters are in Luxembourg, and in Croatia they operated through ownership in Zagreb Brewery (Pivovara) from 2009 to 2012, and as they say on their website, they currently have no assets in Croatia.

CVC otherwise invests in companies that operate in stable, non-cyclical markets and are leaders in their respective fields, and this is their first entry into the marina business, for which they allegedly have ambitious plans.

All of these plans include Croatian D-Marin marinas, which have been marketed as a premium product. In marinas in Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro and the United Arab Emirates, D-Marin has a capacity of 8773 berths. D-Marin Dalmatia is the largest marina in Croatia and one of the largest in the entire Eastern Mediterranean region, and D-Marin Mandalina is especially suited to accommodate luxurious mega yachts. The marinas also include exclusive facilities such as the Portus Beach Club & Restaurant in D-Marin Dalmatia and the Forty Bar in D-Marin Borik.

In Croatia, D-Marin employs almost 200 people, and they are currently in the process of recruiting for the new season. It is well known that Turkish investors entered Croatia by buying the Mandalina marina, which later built the D-Resort. Mandalina was the first Croatian marina with a five anchor categorisation and the first marina designed for mega yachts. Back in 2012, they bought the Dalmatia and Borik marinas from Zdenko Zrilić and became the owners, with eleven percent, of the ACI marina chain.

For several years, Dogus Group worked to take over ACI and become a leader in the blossoming Croatian nautical business, but so far the state has not privatised the company. Circumstances in Turkey are probably the most responsible for this given the fact that just last spring, Dogus Group finally sold its stake in ACI. In the meantime, they also applied for the tender for marina Zadar, which was eventually cancelled.

Negotiations with CVC reportedly took several months to complete and Dogus Group are reportedly very happy with the buyers. According to the latest published business data, Dogus Group ended the first half of last year with a total revenue of 1.37 billion euros and an operating profit of 69 million euros, but it melted away due to depreciation at a loss of 116 million euros.

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