Italian maker of Nutella buys Turkish hazelnut leader

Italian maker of Nutella buys Turkish hazelnut leader

Italian maker of Nutella buys Turkish hazelnut leader

A picture shows the Ferrero plant in Alba on May 17, 2014. AFP Photo

Turkey’s largest hazelnut company Oltan Gıda has been acquired by Italian giant Ferrero, makers of the famous Nutella chocolate spread, in what would be a game changer in the global hazelnut and chocolate sectors, a local media outlet has reported.

Ferrero has acquired the Turkish company that already sells 70 percent of its output to the Italian chocolate and confectionery products manufacturer, according to Turkish daily Dünya’s report published on July 7.

Authorities from the Turkish company, who were approached by daily Hürriyet, have declined to comment on the report while their chairman, Orhan Veli Oltan, is outside of the country.

Oltan Gıda, which accounts for one-third of Turkey’s total hazelnut production, has been the country’s hazelnut export champion since 2002 and was named the 55th largest industrial institution in Turkey by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry’s (İSO) “Top 500” list.

Based in Black Sea province of Trabzon, Oltan Gıda has five nutcracker factories, two nut picking facilities and a hazelnut integration facility in the city.

The firm recorded a turnover of $500 million in the 2012-2013 season, exporting 68,000 tons of hazelnut kernels.

Global chocolate giant Ferrero is no stranger to the Turkish market, as the firm has already opened its 19th factory in the Aegean province of Manisa with a 300 million Turkish Lira investment.

The company, which uses Turkish hazelnuts as ingredients in manufacturing its world-famous products, was expected to increase its presence in the Turkish market with the opening of the Manisa plant.