Turkish wet wipes producer Sapro gets a boost from EBRD

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca


€3 million loan for greater efficiency of key player

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a €3 million loan to Sapro, a Turkish wet wipes producer, as the company eyes growth.

Founded by Ceyhun Zincirkıran and Mehmet Gündoğdu in 1997, Sapro has since become Turkey’s largest wet wipes producer by capacity.

Seventy-five per cent of its sales are in the European markets, primarily as private label products to large European retail chains. In Turkey, Sapro produces wet wipes under the brand name Hops.

The EBRD’s loan will finance part of the working capital required to start Sapro’s own production of the main raw material for wet wipes – non-woven tissue or spunlace, which accounts for more than half the cost of the final product.

Sapro was previously buying spunlace from suppliers and as part of its growth strategy wants to bring more of its production in-house. Doing so will help significantly cut costs and increase the company’s competitiveness and resilience domestically and abroad.

Ceyhun Zincirkıran, the co-owner and chairman of the board, said: “The EBRD is one of the most important international financial institutions in Europe. Its contribution and support will help us achieve our goal of becoming the most important player in our sector.”

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Director for Manufacturing and Services, said: “We are impressed with the story of this Turkish exporter. We see great potential and are happy to support Sapro’s growth as the market for wet wipes continues to grow in Turkey and elsewhere.”

Developing the competitiveness of Turkey’s exporters is part of the EBRD’s efforts to boost the country’s economy.

The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep.

To date, it has invested over €7 billion in the country through more than 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised about €17 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.

In 2015, Turkey was the top destination for EBRD financing, with €1.9 billion invested that year alone.