Cadbury Schweppes announced that it has agreed to acquire a 51 per cent equity interest in Kent, the leading sugar confectionery manufacturer in Turkey, in addition to a majority equity interest in its distribution arm, Birlik.
The Kent purchase cost €109.59 million cash and assumed debt.
Founded in 1956 by the Tahincioglu family, Kent is the largest sugar confectionery manufacturer in Turkey. It has the leading share of the packaged sugar confectionery market (66 per cent) and the second largest share in the chewing gum market (14 per cent). Estimated sales last year were €126.28 million and estimated volume was 27.1 million tonnes.
Kent currently exports to 66 countries, including those in the Middle East, Balkans and Russia, and the surrounding area. Exports represent approximately a third of volumes. Birlik has an extensive, nationwide distribution network reaching 115,000 points of sale.
The total Turkish confectionery market is valued at €1,036.91 million, with the sugar segment accounting for 34 per cent.
``Partnership with Kent provides a strong platform in a key emerging market with direct links to adjacent regions where we successfully operate such as Africa, the Middle East and Russia, '' said John Sunderland, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes.
``Both companies' operations and expertise are complementary and provide Cadbury Schweppes access to potential high rates of growth in Turkey and the Turkic nations,'' he added.
Cadbury Schweppes is the world's third largest soft drinks company and the fourth largest confectionery company. The transaction will be funded from Cadbury Schweppes' existing debt facilities and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2002, subject to regulatory approval.