ISTANBUL (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group (CG.O) is looking to sell its 30 percent stake in Turkish lingerie and swimwear retailer Penti and has mandated Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to advise on the sale, three people familiar with the matter said.
The potential deal comes as appetite for Turkish assets has recovered after last year’s failed coup. Despite chronic political worries, investors remain keen for companies that tap into Turkey’s young, fast-growing population.
Penti’s founders, who retained 70 percent of the company after Carlyle bought its stake in 2012, are also looking to sell down their holding and have also mandated Goldman Sachs as adviser, two of the people said.
Penti, which has more than 400 stores and a presence in some 30 countries, sells hosiery, swimsuits and lingerie. The company said it was not considering a share sale, but confirmed it had mandated Goldman Sachs and London-based Dome Group to advise on investment opportunities.
“As of today, Penti has not taken any decision on an acquisition, stake sale, merger or a decision to initiate these processes,” it said. “However, the company mandated Goldman Sachs and Dome Group to research market conditions and evaluate possible investment opportunities.”
Spokesmen for both Carlyle and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
While the due diligence has not yet started, private equity firms Turkven and Actera have both expressed interest in a potential acquisition, two of the sources said.
Turkven and Actera were not immediately available for comment.
Once seen as a star emerging market, Turkey has lost some of its lustre thanks to concerns about politics under President Tayyip Erdogan, an increasingly authoritarian leader frequently at odds with the West.
Erdogan has cracked down on opponents following last year’s failed coup. More than 150,000 people in the civil service, police, military and private sector have been sacked or suspended and some 50,000 jailed. Asset seizures since the crackdown have also given investors pause.
The government says such measures are necessary, given its multiple security threats.
For some, at least, those concerns have been trumped by Turkey’s enviable demographics. Its population of 80 million is the youngest in Europe and, thanks to rising disposable incomes, keen to spend on smartphones, designer trainers and handbags.
In June, jeans maker Mavi Giyim listed in Istanbul after a $334 million initial public offering. Its shares have surged 16 percent since.
Carlyle’s 30 percent stake in Penti was worth around $100 million at the time of the transaction in 2012, according to a separate source familiar with that deal.
Penti had revenue of 600 million lira ($168 million) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 95 million lira, and is expected to reach 700 million lira of revenue this year, the source said.
Last year Carlyle exited Turkish private school operator Bahcesehir Koleji and in 2014 exited an investment in Turkish health-care provider Medical Park.
Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by David Dolan and Adrian Croft