(Removes references to story on Koza Ipek ruling, which has
By Ceyda Caglayan
ISTANBUL Dec 23 Turkish food giant Yildiz
Holding said on Friday it has sold a $400 million stake in
biscuit maker Ulker to its London-based holding
company, to which it has moved its core biscuit, chocolate and
Outside of Turkey Yildiz is better known for its
international brands, which include Godiva chocolates and
Yildiz, which it says is the largest food manufacturer in
central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa,
eventually plans to list the shares in Pladis, the UK holding
The sale of 21 percent of Ulker to Pladis for 1.4 billion
lira ($398 million), leaving Yildiz with a 28.92 percent stake,
comes a month after the shares of group companies, including
Ulker, were hit by fears that Yildiz could be
targeted in a government crackdown on businesses alleged to have
links with Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.
More than 100,000 people have been suspended or sacked for
suspected ties to a failed coup in July and 40,000 arrested.
Authorities have taken control of hundreds of companies over
alleged links to the cleric, which the government blames for the
coup. Yildiz has previously said its businesses are "clean" and
its conscience "clear".
Shares in Ulker fell 3.8 percent to 16.91 lira in Istanbul
on Friday, below the sale price of 19.5 lira.
Pladis has operations in 120 countries across Europe, Middle
East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
(Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan, Greg Mahlich)