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04 December 2012

QFIB expands interests in Turkey with the acquisition of a 40%stake in leading home textile-retailer ‘English Home’

QFIB announced the acquisition of a 40% stake in English Home, the leading retailer of home textile products in Turkey.

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC regulatory authority, announced the acquisition of a 40% stake in English Home, the leading retailer of home textile products in Turkey.

The acquisition marks QFIB’s first venture into the retail sector and the second in the Turkish market, which further demonstrates QFIB’s commitment to portfolio and geographical diversification.

Abdulla Bin Fahad Al Marri, QFIB Chairman commented, “This acquisition is our second in Turkey which has recently received an “investment grade” by Fitch due to its high performing economy. Our venture into the retail sector comes at an opportune time as consumer spending in Turkey is expected to increase along with an increase in foreign direct investment.”

English Home, established in 2008,  is a leading home textile retailer with a strong presence in the Turkish market. Since its establishment, it has witnessed significant growth backed by a strong demand.  The number of its stores increased from 3 in 2008 to over 115 in 2012 across Turkey and the Ukraine in addition to franchises in Cyprus, Albania, Azerbaijan and Iraq. The success of English Home lies in their management’s strong expertise in the textile and retail industry which was a key factor in driving the growth of the company.

Emad Mansour, CEO of QFIB commented, “We are very excited to venture into the retail sector, specifically in Turkey which has a vibrant retail market  driven by a population with an increasing purchasing power. English Home owned by the Aydin Family, who are also our partners in Memorial Health Group, is a model success story as it has witnessed exponential growth in a short period of time. We are looking forward to working with the Aydin Family to further cement the position of English Home in the Turkish market and accelerate its growth.”

QFIB’s acquisition of English Home further demonstrates the Bank’s strategy of investing in high growth companies that are leaders in their respective fields. Post-acquisition, QFIB’s role will be to assist the Firm in achieving its ambitious growth targets through institutionalization of business operations and setting in place best-in-practice corporate governance standards.

Yaşar Aydın, Chairman of Turgut Aydın Holding Company commented, “We are very pleased to welcome QFIB as a shareholder in English Home. Turkey is one of the leading textile producers and exporters in the world. In recent years the home textile sector has witnessed considerable growth both domestically and internationally. Given Turkey’s favorable market dynamics, we are confident that with QFIB’s support we will be able to capitalize on the growing demand for home textiles and to further build upon English Home’s recent success.”

According to a study undertaken by a reputable market consultant, the home textile retail market is expected to witness significant growth on the back of a favorable macroeconomic environment, sizable and young demographics and a dynamic shift in consumer preferences from independent stores towards organized retail chains.

Erdem Gündüz, CEO of “English Home” said: “English Home has demonstrated a strong performance, and managed to become the leading brand of Turkish home textile market in a short period of time. Considering the high growth potential of the domestic market, we are confident that we will capture an even larger market share.  Welcoming QFIB as a shareholder is an important milestone for our company. With QFIB’s expertise and our international exposure, we are aiming to become a leading brand not only in Turkey, but also in the neighboring region