Turkey's Yildiz sells yeast unit to French Le Saffre for $220 mln

ISTANBUL Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:02am EST

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ISTANBUL Jan 30 (Reuters) - Turkey's largest food group Yildiz Holding has signed a deal to sell its yeast-making unit Dosu Maya to French company Le Saffre for $220 million, Yildiz Chairman Murat Ulker said.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday in embargoed comments, Ulker also said the group is in talks with a foreign fund to sell its 11 percent stake in Islamic bank Turkiye Finans.

Yildiz revenues last year rose 17-18 percent, exceeding expectations for a rise of 13-14 percent, Ulker also said.

Yildiz, which owns family-run biscuit company Ulker and premium chocolate maker Godiva, is seeking to focus on developing its consumer brands. The group generated sales of 12.4 billion lira ($5.48 billion) in 2012.

Yildiz last year bought Spanish discount retailer Dia's Turkish operation DiaSA for 136.5 million euros ($186 million).

Other than food, Yildiz Holding is also active in finance, packaging, real estate, retail, information technology and personal care products. ($1 = 2.2608 Turkish liras) ($1 = 0.7329 euros) (Reporting by Asli Kandemir; Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Daren Butler)

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