Turkish delight for London as tycoon plots blockbuster float


Turkish delight for London as Ciner family plots blockbuster float of chemicals producer WE Soda

  • WE Soda is owned by the Turkish billionaire Ciner family
  • It is eyeing a valuation of up to £7bn and would qualify to enter the FTSE 100
  • It produces natural soda ash, used in glass manufacturing, detergents and soaps 

A chemicals producer owned by the Turkish billionaire Ciner family is planning London’s first blockbuster float this year, in a boost for the under-fire stock market.

WE Soda’s decision is a sorely needed shot in the arm after a slew of companies have snubbed the City in favour of private equity ownership or floating in New York instead.

WE Soda’s headquarters are in London but it operates in Turkey and Wyoming, USA, where it produces natural soda ash, used in glass manufacturing, detergents and soaps, plus batteries for electric vehicles.

Family fortunes: Turgay Ciner and his wife Didem

Family fortunes: Turgay Ciner and his wife Didem 

The company is eyeing a valuation of up to £7billion and would qualify to enter the FTSE 100 index. 

The Ciner family own an industrial and media empire under WE Soda parent company Ciner Group, headed by billionaire 67-year-old Turgay Ciner, who owns a home in London.

WE Soda is chaired by his wife, 43-year-old Didem, and its chief executive is City grandee Alasdair Warren, who has held top jobs at both Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Its float would be the UK’s biggest since GSK’s demerger of its consumer health arm Haleon last July.

‘Despite the challenging market backdrop, we’re confident of a successful listing’, WE Soda chief strategy and risk officer Nicholas Hall said. 

He added: ‘The FTSE 100 is associated with quality and prestige, and given that history, it seems the right place to list.’

A listing would be a much-needed boost for London. Cambridge chipmaker Arm opted for a US float and building materials giant CRH plans to switch its listing, on the London market since 2011, to New York.

City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has pledged to ‘reform and streamline’ requirements for firms who want to list.

‘By describing the FTSE 100 as being associated with quality and prestige, it has provided a ray of light for London’ said Susannah Streeter, at Hargreaves Lansdown said.

‘It’s still unlikely to lead to a flood of immediate listings due to the still volatile nature of market sentiment.’



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More