TURKEY – Turkey’s leading biscuit maker, Ülker Bisküvi Sanayi has raised a US$455 million financing package from international lenders to enable the company to continue smooth operations and further expansion in Turkey and abroad.

The confectionery producer raised a US$455 million financing package with a three-year maturity from eight lenders despite the current market volatility.

The financial package consists of a syndicated facility of US$374 million and a parallel loan of US$81 million provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the largest lender among eight international financiers in the transaction.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, says: “Despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus, the EBRD remains opens for business.

“Working remotely, we stand by our clients and are committed to supporting them in the most difficult times.

“We are pleased that the EBRD’s participation in this transaction has provided additional comfort to investors, enabling Ülker to raise funds to continue smooth operations and pursue new growth opportunities at home and abroad.”

One of Turkey’s best-known confectioners, Ülker produces biscuits, cakes, wafers, chocolate bars and chocolate-covered biscuits and its sells products throughout Turkey and exports to Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The new funds will help refinance previous syndicated loan facilities maturing in April 2020 and will be used for strategic investment projects.

The EBRD has previously provided a total of €100 million to support Ülker’s operations in Turkey and Kazakhstan.

The new transaction was led by Bank of America as the global coordinator, bookrunner and initially mandated lead arranger, along with Rabobank U.A., and Emirates NBD Capital Limited.

The package is also expected to enable the company to overcome global market turbulence as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The EBRD has also unveiled an emergency €1 billion “Solidarity Package” of measures to help companies across its regions deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the emergency programme, the EBRD said that it will set up a “resilience framework” to provide financing for existing EBRD clients with strong business fundamentals experiencing temporary credit difficulties.