Godiva Maker Yildiz Seeks Purchases From Mideast to East Europe

November 13, 2012

Yildiz Holding AS, the Turkish company that owns the Godiva chocolate brand, is in talks to acquire businesses in the Middle East and eastern Europe to compensate for slower sales growth in its home market.

Yildiz is looking at confectionery companies and other food producers as potential acquisitions, Cem Karakas, chief financial officer of the Istanbul-based company, said in an interview Oct. 17.

Yildiz, owned by the Ulker family, bought Godiva from Campbell Soup Co. for $850 million in 2007 and aims to raise total sales to as much as 13 billion liras ($7.2 billion) this year from 11.6 billion liras in 2011, Karakas said. Sales at its food businesses, account for 85 percent of the group’s revenue, and should rise as much as 15 percent this year, he said.

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