Bahraini investment firm Investcorp has purchased a 30-percent stake in Turkish menswear retail company Orka Group. This is not Investcorp’s first foray into the clothing and accessory retail industry: they are the former owners of the elite Gucci and Tiffany & Co. brands. This will be the investment company’s sixth initiative since its inception, and will enable Orka to take advantage of the growth potential of the company both domestically as well as internationally. The Turkish market is currently experiencing a healthy growth wave of around 8 percent, albeit at the expense of the Egyptian and Bahraini markets, which are still volatile after the political unrest turmoil in the recent past that has adversely affected the economy of both nations. The funding was penned thorough the Gulf Opportunity Fund set up by Investcorp and is the company’s third investment in the Turkish market.
Orka Group (www.orkagroup.com)
Orka Group is the top menswear retail group in Turkey and was founded by Süleyman and Halidun Orakçıoğlu in 1986, although the institutionalization of the company was only completed in 1994 after the Tween brand was introduced. Their market is expansive and covers over 250 company-owned stores and franchise outlets across 40 countries. Their three brands are Damat, Tween and D’S Damat, with Damat being their first release in the luxury menswear segment; each of their brands reaches out to a different segment – luxury, lifestyle and casual. The company is currently headed by Süleyman Orakçıoğlu, who remains as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, with Halidun as Vice-Chairman.
Investcorp was formed in 1982 with the purpose of helping wealthy individuals and key institutions make sound investments in the West. Investors are primarily from the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations – Oman, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Rather than using the standard approach of a fund pool that investors support, each deal is offered to clients on an individual basis, which enables discretionary decisions by the investing entity. The company currently offers its investors three major markets – North America, Europe and MENA – in the form of corporate investments, hedge funds and, in North America, real estate investments. Investment opportunities are typically a blend of debt and equity – debt from leading financial houses and equity that is underwritten by Investcorp and placed with the client.