Istanbul and Washington, DC, March 30, 2015 - Darby Private Equity ("Darby"), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that Darby Converging Europe Fund III (SCS) SICAR ("DCEF III") and Istanbul-based private equity firm Pera Capital Partners ("Pera"), have signed an agreement to acquire a stake in Koza Gida A.S., a Turkish specialty food distributor. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The closing of the transaction is subject to, among other things, approval by the Turkish Competition Board.
Based in Istanbul, Koza Gida A.S. is Turkey's leading high quality specialty food, pastry ingredients and food equipment importer and distributor with over 20 years of experience. Koza distributes specialty food ingredients from 85 world leading firms. The Company serves HORECA (hotels, restaurants, cafeterias), retailers and cake and pastry producers.
"The financial support we have received from Darby and Pera will allow us to expand into new product categories, enlarge and update our distribution infrastructure as well as expand employee training. Going into the next stage of our organic growth, we see this as an opportunity to increase our efficiency while maintaining our roots as experts in the high quality food business ," said Kerem Sezer, chairman of Koza Gida.
"Koza is a very well structured company with a strong management team and attractive market positioning. We hope to support Koza's continued growth in the high growth HORECA sector," commented Burak Dalgin, Darby Private Equity managing director based in Istanbul.
"We are very pleased to be partnering with the Koza Gida team and Darby Private Equity on this transaction. We believe the food away from home (FAFH) segment offers attractive growth prospects in Turkey, and we look forward to working together to support Koza Gida's ability to capitalize on this opportunity," said Kerim Yalman, Pera's managing partner.
DCEF III has previously made four investments in Turkey, Hungary and Latvia. Darby Private Equity has played a pioneering role in bringing structured equity and mezzanine finance—a hybrid of both debt and equity—to emerging market regions. Including DCEF III, Darby Private Equity manages two Central and South East Europe dedicated funds, which have collectively made 21 investments in the region.
Darby Private Equity was founded in 1994 by The Honorable Nicholas F. Brady, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury between 1988 and 1993. Richard Frank joined the firm as CEO in 1997 after his career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/World Bank. In 2003, Darby became a fully owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. For more information please visit darbyoverseas.com.
About Franklin Templeton
Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 150 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company's more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California–based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $894 billion in assets under management as of February 28, 2015. For more information, please visit franklinresources.com.