Citi makes two Turkish venture investments

The venture capital business of Citi Alternative Investments has bought stakes in two Turkey-quoted retail companies as it seeks to increase its exposure to the region.

New York-based Citigroup Venture Capital Investment (CVCI) has bought a 30 percent stake in Boyner Buyuk Magazacilik and a 50 percent stake in Beymen.

Founded in 1981, Boyner operates 20 department stores and eight discount stores in Turkey. Beymen is Turkey’s biggest luxury non-food retailer. Both companies are listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

The deal terms value Boyner at $153.8 million and Beymen at $285.2 million.

Sunil Nair, managing director at CVCI, said: “This investment is demonstrative of CVCI’s deep interest in private equity opportunities in Turkey and follows our recent investments in Biofarma and Oger Telecom.”

Private equity deals in Turkey have so far been sporadic and isolated. TPG bought Mey Alcoholic Beverages for $900 million in April 2006 while Advent International backed the buyout of Turkish producer of packaged bread UNO Bakery in 2003 and that of Turkish car rental business Intercity in 2005.

Founded in 2001, CVCI has more than $7.5 billion under management and more than 40 investment professionals around the globe. It is currently investing a $1.6 billion fund raised in 2005 focused on China, India, Russia and central and eastern Europe.