Foreign funds buy into Turkish biscuit maker Ulker

ISTANBUL Fri Oct 4, 2013 7:39am EDT

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - European, U.S. and Far Eastern funds have bought 20 percent of Turkish food maker Ulker Biskuvi, (ULKER.IS) its parent company said on Friday after a sale which took place at a discount amid emerging markets jitters.

Other Turkish firms have delayed or cancelled flotations as capital has flowed out of emerging markets due to expectations of a reduction in U.S. stimulus measures. That has left Turkey as the worst performing emerging stock market this year.

The chief financial officer of parent company Yildiz Holding, Cem Karakas, said the $431 million Ulker sale was a success and that the company would like to list more units.

"Strategically we are in favor of listing all of our big businesses," Karakas said, citing foods maker Ak Gida as a potential example.

Yildiz got 1.3 billion of bids for the Ulker shares on offer, the company said. The shares were sold at 12.

Founded in 1944, Yildiz also owns Godiva Chocolatier and Italian packaging maker Nuroll Spa.

The Ulker sale improved the market depth of the stock by increasing its free float to 42 percent of shares in issue. The proceeds of the sale are to be used by Yildiz investment arm Gozde Girisim (GOZDE.IS) and the parent company, Yildiz said.

After dropping on the sale, Ulker's share price jumped more than 10 percent after Yildiz said the biscuit and chocolate unit was aiming for net sales of 4.5 billion lira ($2.25 billion) in 2016. In 2012 the unit achieved net sales of 2.3 billion lira.

(Additional reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Dasha Afanasieva, editing by Patrick Lannin)

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