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Irish firm sweet on 30pc stake in Turkish chocolate manufacturer

Boutique Irish private equity firm Kerten has acquired a 30pc stake in a Turkish chocolate manufacturer, marking its second investment in the country.

Founded by Michael O'Shea, Kerten secured the stake in Elit Cikolata only recently, buying the shareholding from the firm's owners, the Kucuk family.

They've set out a new five-year plan for the manufacturer to break into new markets. It already exports to 33 countries.

The company is one of the oldest confectioners in Turkey, having been founded in 1924. Almost a decade ago it invested in a factory in Russia.


Kerten invested last year in an Istanbul-based self-catering apartment rental firm, The House Apart.

The remainder of its investment portfolio is focused on eastern Europe. It owns over 10pc of Poland's largest car parts distributor, Fota.

It has two other investments in Poland, including ownership of Kamot Mielec, a labour outsourcing provider for the automotive industry, as well as a stake in Kisan, which sells pipe fittings for internal water supplies to residential and commercial customers.

In Romania, Kerten owns Logos Investments, a property management firm.

Mr O'Shea, who is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland, founded Kerten in 2006.

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He previously established recruitment group Atlanco Rimec, which he still owns. Both firms are unlimited, so no financial data for the companies is publicly available.

Kerten's website maintains that he owns a "significant" property portfolio.

Neither Mr O'Shea nor another Kerten director, Brian Walsh, were available for comment yesterday.

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