EPCA ’10: Arkem aims to double chemical sales to $600m by 2016

04 October 2010 16:03  [Source: ICIS news]

By Will Beacham

BUDAPEST (ICIS news)--Turkish distributor Arkem aims to double revenues from its chemical operations to $600m by 2016 by pursuing an ambitious expansion programme which could eventually see it emerge as a global player in chemical distribution, the company's CEO said on Monday. 

In an interview on the sidelines of the European Petrochemical Association’s annual meeting, CEO and chairman, Levand Kokuludag told ICIS he planned to transform the company into a truly international business by setting up terminals and expanding a network of sales offices across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Kokuludag revealed plans to open offices in Shanghai, Beirut, Moscow and Dubai during 2011. There are also plans to open a shipping terminal in Temryuk, Russia over the next 1-2 years.

“We want to buy and sell chemicals internationally so that we can become a global company within the next 10 years,” said Kokuludag, adding: “The Beirut office will help us serve customers in Lebanon and Syria. It is time for us to be present there and our suppliers want us to go to countries where we understand the culture.”

Over the next 4-5 years, Kokuludag would also like to start buying shares in supplier companies: “As a shareholder we can sell their products and also share the financial risks of production.

On the domestic market, Kokuludag would like to expand Arkem into electronic chemicals, cosmetics, food ingredients and possibly fertilizers.

In the longer term, Kokuludag said he wants to expand through acquisition to transform Arkem into a global player in chemical distribution: “Shanghai is the first step. We would also like to have a presence in the US.”

He is ramping up company borrowing to finance his expansion plans.

After achieving 2009 chemical distribution sales of around $230m (€166m) in Turkey and $18m internationally, Kokuludag projects 2010 to achieve roughly $280m domestically and $20m externally.

Kokuludag, 55, has stepped back from the day-to-day running of the business he established in 1992 to concentrate on his expansion plans.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Will Beacham
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