June 25, 2020 / 3:20 PM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Turkey's Sabanci aims to grow in areas where it has expertise

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By Ceyda Caglayan and Ezgi Erkoyun

ISTANBUL, June 25 (Reuters) - Sabanci Holding aims to expand in areas where the Turkish conglomerate already has expertise such as energy and material technologies and is seeking investment abroad, its Chief Executive Cenk Alper said on Thursday.

Making an investment in a new industry would be an “adventure” during the current risky period brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Alper said in an interview with reporters.

The CEO said Sabanci’s Kordsa division, which makes tires, construction reinforcement and composites, is looking at acquisition opportunities in Europe to bring its technology closer to its customer base.

Kordsa has almost completed its investment in the United States for composite and honeycomb production technologies, Alper said, adding that Sabanci was also looking at other business opportunities within Turkey and abroad.

Sabanci Holding - which holds energy, banking and retail interests among others, has assets worth 441.3 billion lira ($64 billion), according to its balance sheet.

The group aims to transform or exit some of its businesses and will unveil a detailed long-term plan in August or September, Alper said.

“We will either transform some of our businesses in line with our strategy, we will digitalise them, we will make them sustainable or we will exit them at a convenient time,” Alper said, pointing to a possible re-evaluation of its retail arm.

The CEO said the group would prioritise a debt restructuring of its power generation business Enerjisa Uretim and turn it into a dividend-paying company before a possible stock exchange listing.

He said Sabanci could bid in new renewable energy tenders and also consider buying operational power plants from competitors. ($1 = 6.8545 liras) (Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Jane Merriman)

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