Eczacibasi purchases remaining 50% share of Turkish tissue paper producer Ipek Kagit from international partner Georgia-Pacific

ISTANBUL , November 28, 2011 (press release) – Eczacıbaşı has signed an agreement to acquire the 50 percent shareholding belonging to its international partner, US-based Georgia-Pacific, with the aim of becoming the sole owner of İpek Kağıt, Turkey’s leading tissue paper manufacturer. The share transfer resulting from the agreement signed by Eczacıbaşı and Georgia-Pacific will take effect in early 2012, once the Competition Board has given its approval and other legal procedures are completed.

In a statement announcing the acquisition, Eczacıbaşı Group Chairman, Bülent Eczacıbaşı, said that the Eczacıbaşı Group, now fully in charge of İpek Kağıt’s management, aimed to expand more rapidly in world markets while maintaining the company’s leadership in Turkey. “Since 1989, when İpek Kağıt acquired an international partner, it has worked highly productively and compatibly with all its international partners,” he said, and added, “Georgia-Pacific, our partner of the last 11 years and one of the world’s largest producers, has made very considerable contributions to İpek Kağıt. For this, we wish to thank all of the valuable executives over this period.”

Confident that İpek Kağıt will continue its successful performance in the period ahead thanks to its powerful brands, valuable human resources and advanced technology, Eczacıbaşı declared, “The primary sources of sustainable growth will be our innovative products and new geographies, supported by our continued leadership in quality. I hope that this major development, which we believe will create tremendous value for our brands and customers, will be auspicious for all of us.”

Since 1970, when İpek Kağıt began to produce Turkey’s first modern tissue paper, it has played a pioneering and leadership role in its industry. Hence, İpek Kağıt’s Selpak and Solo brands are among Turkey’s best-known brands. In 1993, by adopting a more customer-focused culture that is open to change, İpek Kağıt became one of the first companies in Turkey to embrace Total Quality Management principles and to receive, in 1997, the TÜSİAD-KalDer National Quality Prize. A recent winner of the “Istanbul Chamber of Industry Innovation Award”, İpek Kağıt continually develops and launches new and innovative products. In addition to high quality bathroom tissue, kitchen towels, napkins, facial tissue and other standard products, İpek Kağıt seeks to offer a variety of specialized cleaning and hygiene products that exceed consumer expectations and create added value.

İpek Kağıt’s modern plant at Yalova continues to be an exemplary facility both in terms of its production capacity, currently 105 thousand tons per year, and environmental performance. Additionally, İpek Kağıt has production plants in Manisa, Turkey, and Kazakhstan. İpek Kağıt’s pioneering role and leadership in the tissue paper sector is buttressed by its investments in product development, productivity, occupational safety and sustainable development supported by the total quality and innovation processes.

İpek Kağıt exports its products to more than 30 countries on three continents. In 2006, in line with its geographical expansion strategy, İpek Kağıt entered the Central Asian market with a production plant investment in Almaty, Kazakhstan. At the same time, it began to give significant marketing support to its brands in Kazakhstan and the Caucasus, where it is now competing successfully with global brands. As a result, the Selpak brand is continuing to expand its leadership position not only in Turkey’s tissue paper market, but also in Kazakhstan and the Caucasus.

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