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Insiders Sell a Third of Turkey’s Mango Before Stock Plunge

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The owners and managers of Mango Gida Sanayi & Ticaret AS, a Turkish food processor, sold more than a third of the company’s shares in the months before announcing creditor demands that sent the stock tumbling.

Chairman Ayhan Karak and Vice Chairman Mehmet Yayla sold 13.3 million shares since Oct. 1, or 34 percent of the company’s equity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on insider and major shareholder transactions. That included 3.5 million shares they divested on Jan. 28, two days before the company said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange that it was facing creditor demands against its assets, sending the stock plunging 53 percent since.

The sales cut Karak and Yayla’s combined holdings to 3.4 percent as per a stock exchange filing on Jan. 30 from 20 percent at the end of 2011, according to company statements to the Istanbul Stock Exchange and data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares were sold for about 10.5 million liras ($5.9 million), according to the data. They were suspended today, after plummeting 12 percent, due to extreme price movements.

“There currently is no new development that we haven’t announced through the Istanbul Stock Exchange,” Karak said in a phone interview yesterday. “We were selling our shares, but then using the proceeds to lend to the company. Talks are ongoing” to resolve the company’s financial difficulties, he said. The two partners are owed about 7 million liras to 8 million liras by the company, making them effectively “creditors,” Karak said.

Asset Sales

Mango Gida said in announcements to the stock exchange on Jan. 30 it was seeking to sell assets, meet potential buyers, cut its workforce and stop packaging activities after creditors sent the company seizure and payment orders totaling 38.3 million liras. The Istanbul-based company’s market value was 11.2 million liras at close in Istanbul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The company could apply for a suspension of bankruptcy, or may seek financing,” Can Ozcelik, an analyst at BGC Partners in Istanbul, said in a phone interview yesterday. “But the small investor has already been hit.”

The Capital Markets Board said it wouldn’t comment on individual companies, according to a spokesman who asked not to be identified in accordance with the regulator’s policies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Taylan Bilgic in Istanbul at tbilgic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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