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Turkey’s Online Retail Market Enjoys Investment Boom

23 February, 2015

Gulf investors are the latest to enter Turkey’s robust and fast-growing online retail market. With market research firm Euromarket International forecasting revenues to more than double by 2017 and hit $6.6 billion, foreign investors are pouring in. The Abraaj Group, a Dubai-based private equity firm, on Monday said it purchased a minority stake in Turkey’s largest online retailer, Hepsiburada, in a bid to grab a share of the country’s soaring consumer spending on the Internet.

Istanbul-based conglomerate Dogan Group’s partial sale of Hepsiburada adds a web-based operation to Abraaj’s four existing investments in Turkey, with a purchase of a 25% stake valued at about $100 million, according to two people familiar with the transaction.

Hepsiburada—established in 1998 and owned by the Dogan conglomerate with interests in media, energy, financial services and tourism—is valued at $400 million, according to the people. Its website has 14 million unique visitors a month.

“The online retail sector in Turkey has been growing seven times faster than store-based retail since 2007; yet online retail penetration in the country is still low at approximately one fifth of the European levels,” said Selcuk Yorgancioglu, an Abraaj partner who leads Turkey investments.

The deal is the latest in a slow but steady stream of web-oriented acquisitions in Turkey.