Godiva Owner Reaches Agreement to Restructure $5.5 Billion Loans

(Bloomberg) -- Yildiz Holding AS, the global sweets company owned by Turkey’s richest man, reached a final agreement to refinance $5.5 billion of debt in the country’s biggest loan restructuring.

Yildiz, owned by billionaire Murat Ulker, signed an agreement with banks for a new four-year loan that can be extended by another four years if the outstanding debt falls below a certain threshold, Chief Financial Officer Mustafa Tercan said in emailed comments, confirming an earlier Bloomberg report.

The Istanbul-based firm, the owner of companies including Godiva Chocolates and United Biscuits, reduced the amount being restructured from $6.5 billion after it made an interim payment of $500 million, Tercan said. The lira’s depreciation against the dollar has also reduced the dollar value of the lira-based loans, he said.

Yildiz, one of Turkey’s largest companies, in February asked banks to consolidate its loans, saying it was struggling to make monthly loan repayments of more than $1 billion. Since then, other firms including billionaire Ferit Sahenk’s Dogus Holding AS have started negotiations with lenders to refinance and restructure billions of dollars in loans.

Creditors

Lenders to Yildiz include Yapi & Kredi Bankasi AS, Akbank, TC Ziraat Bankasi AS, Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS, HSBC Bank AS, Denizbank AS and QNB Finansbank AS. The company already refinanced $1 billion with Akbank before the wider agreement.

Yildiz’s snack maker Ulker Biskuvi Sanayi AS rose 1.2 percent to 20.9 liras in Istanbul. The group’s private-equity arm, Gozde Girisim Sermayesi Yatirim Ortakligi AS, fell as much as 4.9 percent to 4.05 liras, while its frozen-food producer, Kerevitas Gida Sanayii ve Ticaret AS, rose 5.7 percent.

Separately, Yildiz will this week sell shares in its grocer Sok Marketler AS and distributor of technology products Penta Teknoloji. Yildiz and its unit Gozde, which has a 39 percent direct holding in Sok, expect to raise as much as 3.1 billion liras ($730 million) from the offering, Sok said on Monday.

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