ISS Acquisition of Merkez Strengthens Turkey Cruise Capability
Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), a maritime services provider, has acquired the Turkish cruise agency specialist Merkez Deniz Acenteligi ve Ticaret A.S (Merkez).
Merkez is one of the most established agency houses in the Turkish shipping community and it is today a market-leading cruise sector specialist with offices in the major cruise ports of Istanbul and Kusadasi.
ISS already has a strong existing presence in Turkey and this acquisition will assist the further development and growth of its business at an exciting period of development in this country. Turkey continues to attract more passengers year on year as the government actively promotes the country as a cruise destination. With new cruise terminals and airport expansion planned, these numbers are expected to continue to grow.
The Merkez brand will be retained and the business will continue to be supported by the existing management and operations team. Through this acquisition, ISS and Merkez will now offer customers full agency coverage across all cruise ports in Turkey as well as the wider eastern Mediterranean region where ISS already has full coverage.
Commenting on the new joint venture, Sadettin Bulbul, Director of Merkez said: “Merkez Deniz is proud to have been attending our Cruise Principals at all Turkish ports included in their cruise lines itineraries. As a business we wanted to grow further and our union with ISS will enable us to increase both our capability and enhance the quality of the services we provide our customers.”
Said Claus Hyldager, ISS Chief Executive Officer: “This is an exciting initiative for ISS in a key European market. Turkey is an attractive and popular cruise destination in the Mediterranean today and is expected to grow further in years to come.
“Merkez is the cruise agency expert in Turkey, with a wealth of experience and expertise that we look forward to welcoming to the ISS group. By combining together, we will be able to offer the highest quality agency services in all the cruise ports of Turkey.”
Recent acquisitions include the Palumbo Group, an Italian oil and gas project and logistics service provider, and Christy & Griffin, a maritime surveying business based in Australia. The acquisition of Merkez complements the organic growth of ISS and forms part of a strategy which has seen the company strengthen its presence in target sectors and geographies.