Yıldız Holding to invest $1.7 bln in Turkey by 2021: Chair
Jale Özgentürk - LONDONYıldız Holding chair Murat Ülker said that the group, which has grown through a series of key global acquisitions for the last couple of years, will make over 5 billion Turkish Liras ($1.7 billion) in investment in Turkey over the next five years.
The group, which became the world’s third largest cookie company after its acquisition of Britain-based United Biscuits in 2014, reorganized its global brands, De Met’s, Godiva, United Biscuits and Ülker, under the Pladis umbrella, forming a new global giant with annual revenue of $5.2 billion by the beginning of this year. The group also acquired Belgian chocolate maker Godiva in 2008.
Ülker noted that Turkey would become the chocolate hub of Pladis in the upcoming period, adding there would be an extensive research and development (R&D) center in the northwestern Turkish district of Gebze.
“Pladis will reach its 15 percent growth target by the end of this year. We will keep investing in this growing company. We have seen Turkey as the chocolate center of Pladis. We will make over 5 billion liras of investment in our production facilities in Turkey until 2021. Godiva’s tablet chocolates, which will be made in Turkey, will be shipped across the world,” he said in a meeting with a group of journalists in London.
To a question on why Yıldız Holding had established Pladis, Ülker said they did this to realize the dream of becoming a world leading company through the path opened by his father, Sabri Ülker, who founded the company.
“I believe that our steps to open to global markets have made a positive contribution to Turkey’s positive image,” he added.
Creating employment for 50,000 people
Saying that 100 percent of United Biscuits and Godiva were owned by the Ülker family, he added: “All of our companies and assets across the world are owned by the Turkey-based Ülker family. These are all Turkish companies, I mean. Yıldız Holding employs 50,000 people. We have indirectly undertaken the responsibility of some 1 million people,” he said, adding that the group would create around 4,500 new jobs by the end of this year.
He noted that the group aimed to make 1.5 billion liras ($508 million) of investments this year across the globe. Around half of these investments are planned in Turkey.
Ülker also noted that Turkey and the Turkish people overcame an extremely disastrous coup attempt on July 15, adding that the country will see much brighter days.
Pladis CEO Dr. Cem Karakaş noted that Pladis produced 1 million tons of biscuits, 460,000 tons of chocolate and 40,000 tons of chewing gum and candy in 36 factories in 13 countries.
“Our aim is to become the world leader in the global arena,” he noted.