Murat Ülker: The King of Food Products in Turkey

Murat Ülker is synonymous with popular food products in Turkey for good reasons – he is, after all, the chairman of Ülker and Yildiz Holding, the country’s largest food producer. His ancestors, particularly Sabri and Asim Ülker, have been in the food business since the 1944 founding of Ülker, a manufacturer of crackers, biscuits and chocolates. He has a degree from the Bogazici University.

Murat has an estimated net worth of US$4.0 billion as of January 2015, according to Forbes magazine. Most is his wealth comes from Ülker and Yildiz Holding, the latter being the holding company for the conglomerate’s various investments.

While Ülker started as a small bakery, its operations has since expanded to the manufacture of margarine, dairy products and vegetable oil as well as Turkish coffee, baby food, ice cream, and carbonated beverages. Today, Ülker is a major manufacturer of food products with the core products being cookies, crackers, and biscuits as well as chocolates with expansion in other products categories. These products are distributed all over Turkey as well as exported to 10 countries.

Ülker, via its parent company Yildiz Holding, is also expanding its international operations via the purchase of United Biscuits, a major food manufacturer in the United Kingdom. With the 2007 acquisition of Godiva Chocolatier, the company is also considered one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers; the chocolate company was purchased from Campbell Soup Co for $850 million.

Ülker’s achievements have been honored in several ways, too. For example, it was awarded the 2004 Candy Company of the Year in Europe by the European Candy Kettle Club.

Yildiz Holding, the holding company for all of Ülker’s brands, has 65 companies so far with over 160 brands and 2,700 products distributed in Turkey and in 110 countries worldwide. With its 100 new products launched each year, every Turkish man and woman as well as many nationalities around the world have likely consumed its products, too.

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