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Ulker Drops to Five-Month Low on Stake Sale Plan: Istanbul Mover

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Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Ulker Biskuvi Sanayi AS slumped to the lowest close in more than five months on investor concern about the pricing of the 10 percent stake that the parent of Turkey’s biggest sweets maker plans to sell.

The shares of the maker of Biskrem biscuits and Dido chocolate bars fell 4.4 percent to 12 liras at the close in Istanbul, the lowest since March 1 and extending a two-day decline to 8.1 percent. More than 641,000 shares traded, or about 1.7 times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Borsa Istanbul National 100 index advanced 2.5 percent.

Yildiz Holding AS, which directly owns 66 percent of Ulker, plans a block sale of the stake in the next six months, according to a filing with Borsa Istanbul on Aug. 7, the last day of trading before an Islamic holiday last week. The sale plans to “increase market depth” and will be in accordance with demand from investors abroad, Yildiz said, without being more specific.

“The uncertainties about pricing in the planned sale create added pressure, leading investors to act defensively,” Melda Agirdas, an analyst at Ekspres Invest in Istanbul, said by phone.

Ulker may report a 23 percent drop in second-quarter profit to 33.4 million liras ($17 million) tomorrow, according to the average of six analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Profit fell 19 percent in the first quarter.

The shares trade at 18 times estimated 12-month earnings, compared with 14.9 times for Saudi Arabia’s Savola and 18.3 times for Israel’s Osem Investments Ltd., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

One analyst recommends investors buy the shares of Ulker, five say hold and eight, including Agirdas, advise selling, according to the data.

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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