The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it has invested USD82 million in a minority stake in Sok Marketler, a fast-growing Turkish discount grocer. The move supports one of the largest initial public offerings (IPO) on Borsa İstanbul, Turkey’s sole stock exchange.
Sok operates small-format one-stop shops that offer a wide range of products at competitive prices: fruits, vegetables and personal care products. The chain operates 5,100 stores and 24 warehouses. It is part of the Turkish food corporation Yıldız Holding.
The Bank’s investment will help boost the company’s capital structure, support further growth and strengthen its competitive position as one of the leading discount retail chains in Turkey.
The EBRD’s backing of Sok’s IPO is also a boost to Turkish capital markets at a time of waning appetite among investors.
The listing raised USD531 million.
The Bank is a major investor in Turkey. Since 2009 it has invested €10 billion in various sectors of the Turkish economy, with almost all investments in the private sector.
In 2017 alone, the EBRD invested €1.6 billion in 51 projects in the country. Nearly a third of this financing was provided in Turkish lira.