By Raheem Akingbolu
Yildiz Holding, CEEMEA’s largest food company, has brought together its core biscuit, chocolate, and confectionery businesses United Biscuits, Godiva Chocolatier, Ulker and DeMet’s Candy Company, to form a new global company, ‘Pladis’.
The new entity unites internationally recognised brands McVitie’s, a leading biscuit brand in Nigeria with a heritage in the UK and Europe, Godiva, a leading premium chocolate brand worldwide, and Ulker, the leading biscuits and confectionery brand in Turkey and Middle East; a love mark in its category. Together they form a $US5.2 billion business, positioning pladis as a global leader in the category.
Reacting to the business realignment, Chairman of Yildiz Holding, Murat Ulker, said establishing Pladis is the first step in realising the long-term strategy of Yildiz Holding.
“We are bringing together some of the world’s best loved brands and combining their 350 years of experience to form a new family company. We will be a global leader in biscuits and confectionery, and bring ‘bites of happiness’ to every corner of the world,” he said.
With 36 factories in 13 countries, Pladis is expected to employ 26,000 people and be led by a senior leadership team comprised of Cem Karakas and Ali Ulker, as CEO and Vice Chairman respectively. The company was said to have decided to leverage on innovation and quality offering to win customers. According to the management, the organisation will operate on a regional basis, with each region responsible for the manufacturing and commercial activities of the full Pladis brand portfolio.
Pladis CEO, Cem Karakas, said: “We have significant growth ambitions for pladis with the aim to outperform the category standard year-on-year. This is supported by our capital position and the strength of our manufacturing as one of only two companies in the world that produce such a broad range of biscuits and confectionery. As one global family, we can be more agile, allowing us to innovate around our products and develop more brand synergies – which are already benefitting our business,”
Named after the ‘Pleiades’ constellation, a group of seven stars visible from anywhere on earth, pladis joins the elite group of companies under Yildiz Holding, each founded on the values and beliefs of the Ulker family, that are today translated through the company’s commitment to its people, its partners and its communities. Internally, this is brought to life through G0AL 21, which is pladis’ ‘super goal’. This initiative is a roadmap helping to align a global workforce around the central idea, “we promise happiness to the world with every bite”, and realise the ambitious targets of this new global entity.
With this buy over, A&P Foods Limited, the producers of McVities Biscuits in Nigeria, automatically becomes a member of pladis. Established in 2002, A&P Foods is a major player in the biscuit and confectionary categories in Nigeria, and also produces the Haansbro brand, Nigeria’s well-loved biscuits and confectionery range.