Turkey's jean giant Mavi targets IPO

Turkey's jean giant Mavi targets IPO
Turkey’s leading blue jeans brand Mavi Jeans is looking to carry out an IPO that would value the company at $700mn.
By Menekse Tokyay in Ankara March 4, 2016

Turkey’s leading blue jeans brand Mavi Jeans is looking to carry out an IPO that would value the company at $700mn, the company’s senior management said during a celebration of its 25the anniversary.

Mavi jeans is a leading exporter of apparel under its “Made in Turkey” label with high quality products and is a benchmark for other Turkish enterprises looking to go global.

The company’s CEO Cuneyt Yavuz announced the IPO plans during a press conference on March 1 in Istanbul, but he went on to say that the company would also consider selling to a strategic investor or a private equity fund if the current one, Turkven, that owns a 50% share in the company decides to exit in the next four years.

Mavi Jeans, meaning “Blue” in Turkish, was  founded in 1991 by the Akarlilar family. Accompanied by a well-developed corporate strategy and an innovative branding, it became the 166th biggest company in Turkey according to the latest Fortune 500 Research, up from 189 and 221 spots in 2014 and in 2013 respectively. 

The company currently operates 5,000 sales points in 50 countries around the world, and sells 7mn blue jeans in a year worldwide. The “perfect fit” slogan adopted for its design strategy and its ever-improving quality products lifted the company’s profile in Turkey and abroad.

The company has run a very successful advertising campaign under the slogan “we are being too much”, in which global denim companies are shown as being irritated by Mavi Jeans’ success and complaining that “Turks are being too much”.

Mavi Jeans has also pioneered retail sales of Turkish products in the US and Canada with a specific sub-brand “Mavi Amerika”, challenging the US prejudice that jeans are an exclusively American product. The company has managed to capture the interest of international celebrities like Adriana Lima (its former commercial face), Lady Gaga, Heidi Klum, Cher, Jessica Alba and Fergie, among others, who all wear its jeans.

However, the main focus of Mavi’s oversees operations remains Germany, Austria and Switzerland – countries that have relatively high purchasing power and large Turkish populations. Mavi Jeans has two European offices based in Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

The company’s export volume was worth about TRY143mn ($48.6mn) in 2015, a significant increase from the previous years when the export volume stood at TRY119mn ($40.5mn) in 2014 and TRY81.3mn ($27.6mn) in 2013.

Mavi has enjoy 30% annual growth a year since 2008, according to its website. In 2015, the company's turnover topped TRY1.2bn ($408.134mn). IPSOS KMG Ready-to-wear Consumption Index Report for 2015 shows that the company is the market leader in jean brands in Turkey, with a share of 17.8% of the market.

In the Fortune 500/2015, Mavi Jeans is also listed as the first within jean brands in Turkey, while in the Economist’ Franchising 100 research for 2015, the company is ranked as the fifth biggest franchiser in Turkey.

The company plans to open shops in Northern Africa, and increase its presence in the Balkans, while it also seizes opportunities to expand to the Iranian market, CEO Yavuz said during the press conference.

The recent Turkey-Russia crisis led the company to be much more hesitant in making new investments, but it still continues exporting to Russia.

The representatives for the company didn't reply to bne's request seeking comment.