Advent makes dough of US$18m

Advent International and its Turkish investment partner Turkven Private Equity, have sold their 50% holding in Turkish packaged bread producer Unmas to Doruk, a Turkish flour milling and bakery ingredients business, for US$18m. Doruk has been managing the business since Advent and Turkven acquired a stake in Unmas in an MBO in 2003. At that time, the business had sales of US$17m and a 40% market share. Three years on, Unmas has sales of over US$40m and has increased its market share by 35% to 75%.

Under Doruk’s management the group has invested in new capacity, introduced new products, expanded distribution and channels and made one acquisition.

Emma Popa-Radu, partner of Advent International, said: “We are delighted with the achievements of the Unmas team and are confident that the company will see further growth under the new ownership of Doruk. They have been an excellent strategic partner since our investment.”

Evren Unver, director of Turkven said: “This is a text book example of how private equity can help Turkish companies develop to the next stage of their growth, bringing strategic advice and guidance and working closely with management – in this case the very able management team that we backed in 2003, who retain their original stake, will remain with the company.”

This is not Advent International’s first foray in the food industry. Already this year, Advent sold BCS, a French bakery group to Ardem. Another food investment, Elior, a pan-European contract and concession catering group, was floated on the Paris Stock Exchange. And finally Star Foods, a Polish snack food company, was sold to PepsiCo.

Advent International and Turkven have been investing alongside one another since 2002 and Advent has been investing in Turkey since 1994 when it was still considered an emerging market.