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EBRD and Abraaj acquire majority stake in Turkish dairy producer, Yörsan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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Bank takes equity stake to support a long-term value creation strategy at leading Turkish dairy company 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and global growth markets-focused private equity firm, The Abraaj Group, have acquired a majority stake in Yörsan, one of Turkey’s leading producers and retailers of dairy products. The investment marks the EBRD’s first equity investment in the Turkish dairy sector and its first co-investment with The Abraaj Group.

The EBRD’s investment will support the implementation of a long-term value creation strategy at Yörsan, aimed at expanding its product portfolio, growing sales and distribution networks in Turkey and in export countries, and enhancing corporate governance.

The Turkish dairy market is currently worth about US$ 3.6 billion annually, and is expected to grow at a rate of 8.6 per cent per annum between 2012 and 2017.

Alain Pilloux, Managing Director at EBRD, said: “The EBRD is pleased to partner with The Abraaj Group in this exciting opportunity in the dynamic Turkish dairy sector. This marks our first equity investment in this sector, and also the EBRD’s first co-investment with Abraaj, and we look forward to working together in the future, both in Turkey and in other regions.”

Omar Syed, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group, said: “Yörsan is a long-established and respected brand in the Turkish dairy sector. We believe the company has great potential to quickly become the market leader in the higher-value dairy segment and a world class FMCG player. To this end, partnering with the EBRD is a strong value-added aspect which provides us access and insight to the Balkans and CIS region.”

The Abraaj Group is a leading investor operating in global growth markets, and has a successful track record of investments in Turkey, where it has been present since 2007.

Yörsan was founded in the 1960s by the Yörük family. Today the group is one of the leading dairy producers in Turkey and a well-recognised regional brand, with a product portfolio covering all of the main dairy categories: yoghurt, cheese, milk, and the traditional Turkish drink, ayran.

In Turkey, the EBRD has, to date, invested over US$ 3 billion, in around 100 projects in various sectors.

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