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Kuwaiti Capital Backs Turkish Fish Firm

TURKEY & KUWAIT - NBK Capital of Kuwait has acquired a 20 per cent stake in Turkish aquaculture company, Kili Deniz.

NBK Capital, an investment fund owned by the National Bank of Kuwait, or NBK, has acquired a 20 per cent stake in Turkey's leading aquaculture firm, Kiliç Deniz, according to a company statement.

Hurryiet reports that, with revenues of over US$140 million in 2010, Kiliç is the leader in the Turkish aquaculture market, focusing on both sea water and fresh water fish production.

The company has effective operations in all phases of fish farming, from incubation to packaging and distribution. Kiliç is also a major supplier to international markets, exporting products to some 34 countries.

The investment will be used for capacity expansion and working capital funding, according to Orhan Kiliç, board chairman of Kiliç.

He said: "We are very excited to expand our partnership with one of the most respected private equity firms in the region," Kuwaiti daily Alwatan quoted Mr Kiliç as saying earlier this week. "Our association with NBK Capital will enable Kiliç to continue to successfully grow and execute its long-term goals."

The investment was made through NBK Capital Equity Partners Fund I, the firm's flagship regional private equity fund providing growth capital to businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

The investment banking unit of NBK did not specify a value for the deal, Alwatan said.

"Our equity investment in Kiliç illustrates our continued confidence in the company's business model and growth potential," said Amjad Ahmad, senior managing director at NBK Capital. "We will continue to execute on Kiliç’s proven strategy and provide the necessary support to solidify its position as a regional leader."

Kiliç controls nearly 75 per cent of Turkey's fish production. The company has fish hatcheries in four different provinces in Turkey and is the world leader in Mediterranean fish farming in terms of integration and capacity. The company's facilities have a production capacity of 250 million units annually. Kiliç had an export volume worth $42 million last year.

According to Hurryiet, NBK Capital specialises in acquiring strategic stakes in companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. In June, it acquired 30 per cent of Dünyagöz Hastaneleri, a Turkish eye hospital company. Prior to that, it provided funds to logistics firm Aras Kargo and also Kiliç Deniz. In 2007, NBK Capital sold its stake in Yudum Gida to Saudi group, Savola.

the Fish Site Editor

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