Advent seeks Turkish delights

Turk Venture Partners Limited, Advent International’s Turkish affiliate has closed its first fund, Turkish Private Equity Fund I at $41 million. The fund is one of the first investing in Turkey to be raised and managed by a local team. It has attracted commitments from prominent institutional investors led by the International Finance Corporation and the National Bank of Greece and includes the European Investment Bank, FMO, the Dutch development bank, and DEG, the German development bank.

Advent set up Turkven in 2001 to explore private equity opportunities in the region. Joanna James, managing director of Advent’s Central European operations, said: “We believe the time is ripe for private equity investment to begin in Turkey, paving the way for increased foreign direct investment.”

Turkven is headed by Evren Unver and Seymur Tari, both previously with McKinsey & Company and Eren Nil, who joins from JP Morgan Chase. Director Evren Unver, said: “The timing is right for this kind of fund. There is definitely a lack of funding in Turkey right now.” He added that most of the funds investing in Turkey have been foreign banks and that AIG is the only one with a local team in Turkey.

The Turkven team will work closely with Advent, co-investing with the firm’s Central and Eastern European programme. It will target Turkish growth companies in a broad range of industries and investments will be in the range of $5 million and $15 million. Director Seymur Tari, said: “Turkish companies have high growth potential, driven by both exports and a sizeable domestic market. There are a large number of well-run, mid-sized and family-owned Turkish companies, which are starting to broaden their vision and adapt their strategies to compete in international markets.”