Turkish pension fund buys majority stake in Finnish defence products manufacturer

An investment fund with ties to the Turkish Army has purchased a controlling interest in one of Finland’s major manufacturers goods used for military purposes.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy gave a green light for the deal in Helsinki before it was finally closed on 8 April.

Turkey’s OYAK pension fund purchases a 70-percent stake in the Raahe-based firm Miilux, which makes products such as reinforced steel for armoured vehicles.

“It can be attached to the side of a bus or an armoured personnel carrier. It ensures that bullets cannot penetrate [the vehicle]. It’s not for use in weapons or ammunition,” Miilux CEO Pekka Miilukangas said.

OYAK is a pension fund that represents Turkish army officers, non-commissioned officers and officials. However in legal terms, it resembles a holding company.

The fund is said to have ties to the country’s autocratic government. According to the UK’s The Guardian, the Turkish government had appointed former generals on the board and the defence ministry had attended annual general meetings.

Miilukangas said that his company’s expertise in protective steel and the pension fund’s army links are unrelated although “someone might think they are”. He added that 90 companies from around the world also have a stake in the fund.