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Owners of Largest Turkish Dairy Maker Plan Share Sale in May

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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The Turkish owner of Godiva chocolates and other partners plan to sell shares in Turkey’s biggest dairy producer next month in a deal they say will value the company at more than $1 billion.

Yildiz Holding, Turkey’s largest food producer, the Topbas family and other investors plan to sell as much as 45 per cent of Ak Gida Sanayi & Ticaret AS, said Cem Karakas, Yildiz Holding’s chief financial officer, in an interview in Istanbul on Monday.

Yildiz bought United Biscuits Holdings for $3.3 billion last year and purchased Godiva chocolates for $850 million in 2007. While Ak Gida has attracted investors interested in a stake in the company, an initial public offering would be the preferred outcome, Karakas said.

“If the strategic investors that show interest offer a significantly satisfactory price and if we can ensure a secure supply of milk, then we can consider selling a stake instead of the IPO,” Karakas said. “I would personally prefer an IPO. We consider milk supply from Ak Gida as a strategic business for our other operations for a secure supply of dairy products.”

Yildiz Holding, which owns about one-third of the company, will use proceeds from the sale to repay debt, Karakas said. The IPO is expected to raise about $450 million, according to the CFO.

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Yildiz also plans to sell a stake in Sok Marketler in an IPO between 2017 and 2019, Karakas said. The grocer contributed four billion liras to 2014 sales of 22 billion liras for Yildiz, which will probably have sales of 30 billion liras this year, he said.

Yildiz Holding, majority owned by Turkish billionaire Murat Ulker, also plans to sell the Akasya and Star City shopping malls in Istanbul, he said.

Bloomberg News, edited by ESM

 

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