Ulker eyes growth

Ulker eyes growth

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.