As Ülker continues to expand foreign investments, CEO aims for Africa's chocolate market
by Daily Sabah
NAPOLIOct 24, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Oct 24, 2016 12:00 am
Yıldız Holding announced that it made a TL 1 billion investment in Turkey in cooperation with six foreign partners through the selling of company shares, adding that foreign investors brought in TL 4 million. Yıldız Holding CEO Murat Ülker said the company made contributions to the Turkish economy worth nearly TL 5 billion through company sales.
Despite the July 15 failed coup attempt and a decision by U.S.-based credit rating agency Moody to downgrade Turkey's credit rating, the Turkish economy has continued to attract foreign investors as seen in the case of Yıldız Holding.
Murat Ülker, Pladis Global CEO Cem Karakaş, the CEO of investment company Gözde Girişim, Mustafa Aydemir, and Polinas Vice Chairman Merih Ceyhan met in the Italian city of Napoli, home to Yıldız Holding's packaging company Polinas which recently purchased Italy's largest food packaging plant Nuroll.
According to Ülker, they first started with biscuit production in 1944 and added chocolate and cake to their product range in the following years. The company turned to other companies for oil, flour and milk production as well as packaging due to lack of raw material supply and production services in Turkey in the 1970s.
As the Ülker chocolate company expanded, it purchased the world's two chocolate giants, Godiva and United Biscuits. Moreover, some companies purchased by Yıldız Holding also grew exponentially, becoming leaders in the sector and attracting foreign investors seeking partnerships, leaving the company with no need for vertical integration. The sales of Yıldız Holding's subsidiaries, such as AK Gıda food company and beverage companies Cola Turka and Çamlıca,the holding made great contributions to the Turkish economy. Ülker said, "So far, along with our six foreign partners, we made a real investment of nearly TL 1 billion in Turkey. Foreign partners brought more than TL 4 billion."
Gözde Girişim, a subsidiary of Yıldız Holding which is in charge of all businesses not related with food, invested in nine companies and reached a portfolio size of TL 1.2 billion. Ülker said Gözde Girişim contributes not only to Yıldız Holding but also to the Turkish economy, protecting Turkey's assets and adding to their value.
Aydemir stated that the key difference which makes Gözde Girişim stand out as an investment company is its ability to conduct complicated purchases and complex financial transactions rapidly, as we have seen with the purchasing of Şok Market grocery store chains in Turkey.
In terms of production, Ceyhan said Polinas has the largest capacity among all packaging films in Europe, adding that the company has doubled its production capacity and the number of employees through new investments in recent years.
Cem Karakaş spoke about Yıldız Holding's global adventure, saying that Pladis will achieve its growth objective of 15 percent by the end of the year and noting: "We will maintain our leadership in the Turkish and British markets,once again establishing our leading position in the U.S.'s premium chocolate market." Yıldız Holding also aims to be one of the best players in the challenging African chocolate market, where the company has no rivals, over the next three years.