Swicorp invests in Turkish carpet maker

The MENA-focussed financial advisory and investment firm has purchased a stake in Step, its first private equity investment in Turkey.

Swicorp, a Middle East investment firm, has invested in Step, a Turkish carpet manufacturer and retailer. The firm said in a statement that it has acquired what will be a majority stake in the company.

Other details of the transaction were not disclosed and the firm could not be reached immediately for comment.

According to a report in Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, Swicorp has invested $50 million (€31 million) in Step to acquire a 40 percent stake, and it has plans to acquire a controlling stake in the company in a year’s time.

Established in 1998, Step operates more than 80 sales outlets and exports carpets to 35 countries around the world. It plans to use the investment to increase the its retail network to more than 200 sales outlets by 2011, and to continue along an average annual growth rate of 40 percent for the next three years.

Nabil Triki, managing director of Swicorp Private Equity, said in a statement: “We have been investigating the Turkish markets for several years. Turkey is now a strategic market among the countries where we make our investments.”

He added that this is the firm’s first investment in Turkey.

Swicorp manages approximately $1.4 billion across 3 private equity funds and invests across Middle East and North Africa. Its investments are focussed on energy, petrochemicals, industrial goods, consumer goods, communications and financial services.

The firm was founded in Switzerland in 1987. It is headquartered in Riyadh, and has offices in Jeddah, Dubai, Tunis, Algiers and Geneva.

Last week, global private equity firm The Carlyle Group also made its first investment in the country when it acquired a 50 percent stake in TVK Shipyard, a shipbuilding company.