Turkish food group Ulker aims to grow its revenues by expanding in the Middle East and Africa after attracting “record breaking” interest from investors through its share placement, a senior executive told just-food.

Ulker parent company Yildiz Holding put 20% of the bakery-to-confectionery manufacturer for sale through a private placement on the Borsa Istanbul, Turkey’s stock exchange.

The private placement raised US$431m and was three-times over subscribed. Yildiz said 42% of Ulker, which it describes as its “flagship company” will now be floated.

“The private placement of 20% of Ulker’s shares sold by its parent Yildiz Holding was met with US$1.3bn demand from some top institutional names, a record-breaking volume in Turkey’s consumer equities history,” Bora Yalinay CFO of Ulker’s chocolate, biscuit and cake division told just-food.

The company intends to use funds to help grow sales from TRY2.3bn (US$1.15bn) last year to TRY4.5bn by 2016, Yalinay added.

“Priority expansion countries are Egypt and Saudi Arabia. By saying that, our main expansion region is [the] MEA region,” he said.

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