Advent buys in Turkey

Advent International and local affiliate Turkven have partnered to buy leading Turkish baker Unmas from Dogus Holding.

Advent International, the international private equity group, has acquired leading Turkish bakery chain Unmas with local partner Turkven from the major Turkish conglomerate Dogus Holding.

The two private equity firms backed the buyout using an offshore subsisdiary vehicle, DAT Bakery International Holding B.V. Terms of the transaction have not been revealed.  

Unmas is the main producer of packaged bread in Turkey, whose products trade under the brand name UNO. The company is being spun off by Dogus Holding, one of Turkey's largest business groups which is withdrawing from the food sector. Unmas was founded in 1990 and sold to Dogus in 1997.

Hasip Gencer, Unmas’ founder, rejoins the company as CEO. The company achieved sales in 2002 of $17 million and claims a 40 per cent market share of the packaged bread market.  Turkey has the world’s highest per capita bread consumption at 146 kg p.a. per person but packaged bread currently represents less than one percent of bakery sales and is reported to be growing faster than the overall market.

Gelu Tudose, a Principal with Advent International’s Central European team said: “We believe that the current staff of UNO together with new management will build on the strengths of the brand to increase coverage, penetration and profitability”.

Advent International has made a number of investments in the food sector in Europe, including BCS, a French bakery group, Elior, a pan-European contract and concession catering group, and Star Foods, one of Poland’s leading snack food producers.

Turkish Venture Partners [Turkven] is an affiliate of Advent International and in March 2002 closed its first fund at $41m. This was the first Turkish private equity fund ever raised and managed by a local team of investment professionals. Investors in the fund included the International Finance Corporation and the National Bank of Greece. Other participants included FMO, the Dutch development bank, the European Investment Bank and DEG of Germany. Turkven is led by Evren Unver and Seymur Tari, both previously with McKinsey & Company, and Eren Nil, previously with JP Morgan Chase. 

Advent prides itself in the breadth of its geographic coverage with offices and affiliates in 25 countries. The firm also is keen to promote its ability to manage dedicated investment programmes for major corporations: in the last two decades Advent has raised $800 million from 40 multinationals, which it has then invested in what it describes as 'many leading and influential businesses in targeted sectors.'