Venture Capital Bank and Bank Alkhair announce the acquisition of 65% of leading Turkish food producer Goknur

7 February 2012

Venture Capital Bank and Bank Alkhair announce the acquisition of 65% of leading Turkish food producer Goknur

Venture Capital Bank and Bank Alkhair (formerly Unicorn Investment Bank) announced today the acquisition of 65% of Goknur Foods Import Export Trading and Production Co., which is one of the largest producers of fruit juice concentrate and fruit puree in Turkey. This equity stake in Goknur has been placed with investors in the GCC region.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the opening session of the 1st GCC -Turkey Business Forum, which was held under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, on Monday.

Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), commented: "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."

"Today's announcement follows the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding 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.

On the occasion, Dr. Ghassan Al Suleiman, Chairman of Venture Capital Bank, said: "This transaction underlines our faith in the strength of the Turkish economy and its vast potential to attract global investment. In partnership with Bank Alkhair, Venture Capital Bank 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."

Mr. Abdullatif Mohamed Janahi, CEO of Venture Capital Bank, added: "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 Bank 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."

Mr. Yousef Al-Shelash, Chairman of Bank Alkhair, commented, "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: "The acquisition of Goknur demonstrates Bank Alkhair's commitment to the Turkish market and reflects our confidence in its growth prospects. It also underscores the importance of Turkey as a key destination for Middle East private equity investments. Turkey's high rate of growth relative to other emerging markets has resulted in a growing appetite on the part of foreign investors for exposure to Turkey, and through our subsidiary, Alkhair Capital Turkey, Bank Alkhair intends to leverage these developments to attract further investment from the GCC region into Turkey."

Mr. Osman Aslanali, CEO of Goknur Foods Import Export Trading and Production Co., expressed his pride in this partnership with Venture Capital Bank and Bank Alkhair, commenting that it will contribute to enhancing the future expansion plans of the company, particularly in view of the vast investment potential of Goknur as one of the leading companies in importing, exporting and food production in Turkey.

We look forward to working with our partners to fulfill our growth plans and further grow Goknur. This partnership will allow Goknur to enter new markets, thereby increasing the visibility of Turkish products internationally."