TURKEY – Ulusoy, Turkey’s largest flour miller, has secured a 6-year, US$25m senior debt facility from Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO to fund transition into the retail sector.
The funds will be used by the Samsun-headquartered company to acquire Söke Degirmencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş, a popular flour brand in Turkey.
With Söke’s strong brand recognition and market expertise in the retail sector, Ulusoy hopes to finally succeed in quest to have a presence in the retail segment of the flour business.
Currently, Ulusoy operates three facilities with a daily wheat flour processing capacity of 2,100 tons and warehouses with a grain storage capacity of 360 thousand tons.
Its goal is to become Turkey’s largest agro-industrial company by 2029, and among the world’s top 10 agro-industrial companies by its centennial.
The bank loan will play a role in achieving this goal as it will also be used to improve Ulusoy’s milling capacity and distribution network.
Ulusoy purchases its wheat from across Turkey as well as in the Black Sea region, which it processes into flour at its facilities in the cities of Samsun and Çorlu.
Currently, half its sales (TRY 4.3bn – US$317m – in 2020) come from B2B Turkish customers, with the other half made up from exports to countries across the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Its customer base includes food processors, bakeries and organisations like the World Food Programme.
“With support of FMO, Ulusoy has now become the biggest flour producer in the country, as well as the owner of a well-known consumer brand Söke,” said Gunhan Ulusoy, chairman of the Board.
“We believe that this is just the beginning of the way for us in B2C world. While we will keep our commitment to produce safe and healthy food products, more dreams will come true with the support of our stakeholders like FMO, which will stimulate our further growth.”
This is not the first time FMO has partnered with Ulusoy. In 2018, the bank provided a long-term US$18m facility to finance the construction of a state-of-the-art flour mill in Samsun.
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