Turkish businesses eye purchase of Swiss chocolatier


Turkish entrepreneurs hope to increase their presence in European markets by buying up existing brands, a leading business figure said Friday.

Murat Bayizit, who heads the food and agriculture committee of the Independent Industrialist and Businessmen Association, said association members were considering the purchase of a Swiss chocolate brand.

"We thought that we, as Turkish brands, would enter into the international market by developing this brand further," he said. "And we have started working on it. Now we are working on several alternative brands."

He said businesses from Bursa, northwest Turkey, were to visit Switzerland ahead of a bid to buy the chocolate company, which he did not name.

"Switzerland has a positive image as the country is known for its chocolate," Bayizit added. "We thought that we can proceed along the path faster with a chocolate brand.

"We think the buying procedure will be finalized by the end of the year."

In the past, Turkish food producers such as confectionary company Ulker successfully invested in European brands as a way into overseas markets.

"Ulker became an important figure in the international market after buying Godiva," Bayizit told Anadolu Agency. "Soon after they bought United Biscuits they became one of the most important biscuit makers."

Ulker -- part of Istanbul-based Yildiz Holding -- bought Belgian chocolate producer Godiva in 2007 for $850 million and in 2014 bought Britain's United Biscuits for $2.63 billion.

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