Yıldız Holding

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Yıldız Holding
Founded 1944
Founder Sabri Ülker and Asim Ulker
Headquarters Istanbul, Turkey
Key people
Murat Ülker (Chairman) and Ali Ülker (Vice Chairman), and Cem Karakas (Executive Deputy Chairman)
Products Ülker
Godiva Chocolatier
BN Biscuit
Go Ahead Biscuits
DeMet's Candy Company
Revenue 34.3 Billion TL (2016) [1]
Owner Ülker Family
Number of employees
56,000 [1]
Divisions Biscuits, Chocolate, Cake, Candy and Chewing Gum; Frozen Food, Processed Meat, Ingredients and Oils; Personal Care, Retail Chains and Real Estate Investment; Private Equity
Website www.yildizholding.com.tr

Yıldız Holding is a Turkish conglomerate that is best known for manufacturing food products. The company also produces other consumer goods and has its own retail, private equity and real estate operations.

Yıldız Holding is among the largest food manufacturers in CEEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), generating revenues of 34.3 billion TL in 2016 across all businesses.[2] The company employs 56,000 people and has 83 factories (24 of which are outside Turkey).

Yıldız Holding has over 300 brands available in more than 130 countries. Through Yıldız Holding’s core focus on biscuits, cakes and confectionery, the company has become number two in the world in the sweet biscuits category and number seven in the chocolate category by revenue.[3]

Executive Board[edit]

Major business divisions of Yıldız Holding[edit]


pladis is a global biscuit and confectionery company which was established in January 2016 when Yıldız Holding brought together United Biscuits, Ulker, Godiva Chocolatier (excluding stores), and DeMet’s Candy Company. Combining 300 years of baking and confectionery expertise through its iconic brands, pladis promises “happiness to the world with every bite”.

  • Chairman – Murat Ülker
  • Vice Chairman, Yildiz Holding - Ali Ülker
  • Chief Executive Officer - Cem Karakas
Yıldız Food

Yıldız Food operates the production and sales of frozen foods, processed meat, and ingredients and oils through various companies including Kerevitaş, Aytaç, and Bizim Yağ.

Yıldız Non-food

The non-food division of Yıldız makes a range of products from personal care items to packaging, and is the umbrella company for retail chains including ŞOK and Bizim Toptan.

Gözde Venture Capital

Gözde is Yıldız Holding’s private equity company and is listed on the Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GÖZDE. Gözde invests in non-food companies, such as packaging, industrial minerals and FMCG with financial and operational restructuring needs.

Company History[edit]

Sabri and Asim Ulker, whose parents migrated from the Crimea to Turkey, began manufacturing biscuits in 1944, producing 75 tons in their first year. Capacity was tripled in 1948 with the opening of the company’s first factory in Topkapı.


The 1970s was a period of expansion, with the company moving biscuit production to Ankara in 1970. Ulker produced chocolate for the first time in 1972, which proved so popular that a dedicated chocolate factory was built in Istanbul in 1974. The same year the company began exporting to the Middle East and opened its own R&D division in order to compete with international competitors.


The company began manufacturing some of its own equipment in the 1980s. In 1984 the Topkapı Makine facility was founded to create the machines required for biscuit and chocolate production within the group.

In 1989 Yıldız Holding was created to consolidate all operations and businesses within the group.


Yıldız Holding continued to expand its operations, entering the margarine, vegetable oil and industrial food oil market in 1992 and the dairy industry in 1996.

The company also increased its international expansion, partnering with both Pendik Nişasta and it began to begin producing the first cake bars and filled cakes in Turkey.


Further international growth saw the company establish manufacturing plants in a number of countries and the acquisition of premium chocolatier, Godiva in 2008.

Yıldız began producing ice cream, baby food, soda and cola-style beverages and instant coffee. The company also entered the cereal market with Kellogg’s, creating Ulker Kellogg's in 2005.

In 2009, Yıldız combined operations with Danish gum technologist Gumlink.


Yıldız saw further growth in 2012, when it formed a partnership with SCA, a paper and personal care company, and acquired retail chain ŞOK Supermarkets. In 2013, Yıldız acquired meat processor Aytaç.

In 2014 Yıldız Holding purchased DeMet’s Candy Company in the United States and United Biscuits in the UK.

In 2016 the company brought together its core biscuit and confectionery businesses Godiva Chocolatier, United Biscuits, Ulker and DeMet’s Candy Company, to form a new global company, “pladis”.


External links[edit]