Bahrain banks buy Turkish juice company
Manama, February 7, 2012
Bahraini banks Venture Capital and Bank Alkhair (formerly Unicorn Investment Bank) have joined hands to acquire 65 per cent of Goknur Foods Import Export Trading and Production Company, a key producer of fruit juice concentrate and puree in Turkey.
This equity stake in Goknur has been placed with investors in the GCC region, the two banks said at the signing ceremony held on the sidelines of the opening session of the First GCC –Turkey Business Forum on Monday.
It was held under the patronage of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Commenting on the deal, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said: 'Building on the strong relationship between Turkey and Bahrain, as well as the wider Gulf region, is an essential part of the ongoing economic diversification plans for the Kingdom.'
'There are opportunities for inward investment as Goknur seeks to expand in the Gulf, and I congratulate Venture Capital Bank and Bank Alkhair on completing this important transaction,' he noted.
“Today’s announcement follows the signature of a MoU between the EDB and the National Investment Commission for Investment in Turkey during a visit last year by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and chairman of the EDB, as Bahrain and Turkey work together to increase their joint investment cooperation,” he added.
Dr Ghassan Al Suleiman, chairman of Venture Capital Bank, said the transaction underlines the bank's faith in the strength of the Turkish economy and its vast potential to attract global investment.
'In partnership with Bank Alkhair, Venture Capital has identified this unique opportunity to enter the rapidly growing Turkish market. We continuously strive to identify opportunities that will allow us to achieve optimal results, while contributing effectively to the economies of the Mena region.'
Abdullatif Mohamed Janahi, CEO of Venture Capital Bank, said, 'The bank’s investment team has worked hard to structure the deal in line with the aspirations of our investors, in addition to materializing the vision of Venture Capital to enter into new markets which offer vast opportunities and contribute to regional economic growth.'
'Agricultural investment in the region ranks high in the Bank’s investment strategy as it plays an important role in securing food and in particular the basic items such as rice, wheat, barley, fruits, chemical fertilizers and others,' he added.
Yousef Al-Shelash, chairman of Bank Alkhair, said, “We are pleased to have arranged and co-structured this transaction, which marks one of the largest investments in the agro-food sector in Turkey.'
'We look forward to working with Venture Capital Bank to support Goknur’s growth plans in Turkey, as well as the company’s planned expansion in its export markets, including the Middle East,' he added.
Goknur Foods CEO Osman Aslanali, expressing his pride in the tieup with Venture Capital Bank and Bank Alkhair, said it will help enhance the future expansion plans of the company, particularly in view of the vast investment potential of Goknur as one of the top firms in import, export and food production in Turkey.-TradeArabia News Service