Godiva Owner in Talks With Turkish Banks to Reorganize Loans

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Yildiz Holding AS, the global sweets company owned by Turkey’s richest man, said it’s in talks with banks to consolidate loans in its home country and to refinance the debt to keep the company’s growth path intact, Bloomberg News reported. Yildiz Holding met with lenders following preliminary 2017 earnings and 2018 projections, it said in an emailed statement after Bloomberg reported it was seeking to restructure debt with 10 banks. The lenders, led by Yapi & Kredi Bankasi AS, a unit of Turkey’s Koc Holding AS and Italy’s UniCredit SpA, offered to consolidate Yildiz’s separate loans and refinance them through a new syndicated loan, the firm said. Yildiz, owned by Murat Ulker, is one of Turkey’s largest companies and has been on a global buying spree over the past decade or so, snapping up assets including Belgium’s Godiva Chocolates, the U.K.’s United Biscuits Holdings Plc and DeMet’s Candy Co. of the U.S. The loans it’s seeking to restructure include debt it took on for the $3.1 billion purchase of United Biscuits in 2014, according to people familiar with the negotiations, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Read more.