Turkish food giant says $400 mln stake sale is business, not political, decision
ISTANBULBiscuit maker Ülker’s $400 million worth of stake sales to its British holding, Pladis, was a business decision and not motivated by Turkey’s domestic politics, Turkish food giant Yıldız Holding has said, Reuters reported on Dec. 26.
Yıldız Holding, which also owns international brands such as Godiva chocolates and McVities biscuits, said on Dec. 23 that it sold 21 percent of Ülker’s shares to Pladis in a move to bring its snack businesses under Pladis, which it eventually aims to list in London.
The holding’s direct stake in Ülker decreased to 28.92 percent after it was sold for 1.4 billion Turkish Liras, while there was no change in its control over the company.
In a statement over the weekend, Yıldız said it “strongly and clearly” rejected any claims that the stake sale was made due to mistrust in Turkey’s economy.
“We are strongly and clearly rejecting claims that the stake sale was made ‘due to mistrust in Turkey’s economy,’ as cited especially on the newspapers, websites and social media accounts controlled by the personal and corporate extensions owned by the perpetrator behind the treacherous July 15 coup attempt and its supporters. Such false reports do not reflect the real reason behind the stake sale. We are also loathingly condemning the manipulation of this sale as part of an asymmetric attack against our country,” said the company, adding that they would apply to all legal avenues to make the “ill-fated actors face the biggest punishments.”
Yıldız Holding Chair Murat Ülker said the sale of Ülker’s stakes represented a big move, and that Yıldız Holding had embraced Pladis, a global company, in a tweet.
“There is no reason for these [misinterpretations]. Pladis is owned by Yıldız Holding and is a Turkish company, which is owned by our family and will remain like this,” he said on Dec. 23, while adding that the goal was to carry the country to the global arena.