BC secures stake in Turkish food market

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The Independent Online

BC Partners, the private equity group that last week completed its largest ever deal, has seen off a prestigious industry rival to secure the biggest buyout in Turkey's history.

BC yesterday announced it had agreed to buy 50.8 per cent of Migros Türk, Turkey's largest supermarket chain, from local conglomerate Koç Holding. A source close to the deal said BC had beaten buyout rivals including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone Group.

The 21.85 Turkish lira per share deal values the entire company at 3.9bn Turkish lira (£1.7bn) and is BC's first foray into the country. The group said it intends to launch an offer for the remaining shares "in due course".

Koç called in JP Morgan last June to consider strategic options for its stake in Migros. Following the review it put the holding on the block, sparking interest from private equity and trade buyers.

BC, which hired Merrill Lynch to advise on its bid, won control of the stake alongside two minority partners: local firm Turkven Private Equity and DeA Capital, the Italian De Agostini family's buyout vehicle. The financing is being provided locally by Garanti Bank, Is Bank and Vakifbank.

Migros, which is based in Istanbul, holds about 22 per cent of what it calls the "organised food retail market" in Turkey. It operates more than 900 stores and last year generated sales of around 4.3bn Turkish lira. Former chief executive of Koç Holding and Migros, Bülend Özaydinli, will become chairman of the company when the deal completes.

Nikos Stathopoulos, senior partner of BC Partners, said the group had targeted Migros because of the growth prospects in the region. He said the supermarket chain was "ideally positioned to benefit from the rapidly growing organised food retail market, the favourable demographic trends and the positive dynamics of the Turkish economy".

Last week, BC sealed its largest ever deal, after securing the $16.5bn (£8.4bn) takeover of the satellite group Intelsat.

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