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Lactalis set to enter thriving Turkish dairy sector through Ak Gida deal

By Mark Astley+

07-May-2015

Lactalis set to enter thriving Turkish dairy sector through Ak Gida deal

French dairy giant Lactalis has agreed to acquire an 80% stake in Turkish dairy Ak Gida for an undisclosed amount. 

In a notice posted on the Public Disclosure Platform of the Turkish Capital Markets Board, Yildiz Holding and other Ak Gida shareholders announced a planned initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the Borsa Istanbul (BIST) stock exchange had been cancelled.

Instead, the notice continued, a share sale had been agreed with Lactalis, the world's third largest dairy.

If approved by the Turkish Competition Authority, the French dairy will assume control of an 80% stake in Ak Gida, Michel Nalet, spokesperson, Lactalis, told DairyReporter.com.

The proposed acquisition of Ak Gida, which manufactures a wide range of dairy products including UHT milk, yogurt, feta and cheddar cheese, would see Lactalis take its first steps in the Turkish dairy sector.

"It's a great opportunity for Lactalis to enter a big milk market," said Nalet. "It's a country with a great deal of dairy tradition."

In 2014, Turkish dairy sales totalled US$3.989bn, according to Euromonitor data. With sales of US$1.868bn and US$1.053bn respectively, cheese and yogurt and sour milk products (presumably laban) accounted for almost 75% of this total.

Euromonitor forecasts total Turkish dairy sales to increase to US$5.534bn by 2019.

"This is a country Lactalis is not present in. We would be very happy to have a presence in this very important market," Nalet added.

In March, Lactalis lost a lengthy bidding war with Pioneers Holding to acquire Egyptian cheese maker Arab Dairy.

Lactalis spokesperson, Nalet, dismissed the suggestion the French dairy's attempts to acquire Arab Dairy and Ak Gida are linked.

He said the two deals are "unrelated."

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