From 1963 until today, YILDIRIM Group’s history has been marked by bold moves, successful initiatives and a steady growth, in a continuous quest for excellence.
THE STORY OF SUCCESS STARTED IN 1963
The foundations of YILDIRIM Group of Companies were set in 1963, when Garip YILDIRIM established a modest construction materials trading company called GARIP YILDIRIM AND SONS in Samsun, taking the first steps in his business journey. Over the years, the Company broadened its business scope and engaged in new activities. In 1993, it embarked on international trade for the first time, importing coal directly from Russia.
ENTERING THE SHIPPING & LOGISTICS INDUSTRY
After having his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Yüksel YILDIRIM worked in the port industry as a design engineer in the United States. He then returned to Türkiye and took a leadership role in their family business. In his presence, YILDIRIM Family made the first investment in the shipping industry to transport the coal they imported from Russia, which led to the foundation of YILMAR Shipping. In 2004, the Group acquired Sedef Port and Alemdar Port to form its first marine port in Yilport Gebze, consolidating its position in the marine industry and extending its presence into ports and terminals industry.
PRIVATIZATION PERIOD IN TURKEY
After 2001, the Turkish Government accelerated the privatization processes of state enterprises. Between 2001 and 2005 many state-owned companies became private. YILDIRIM Group also participated in the tenders, and acquired Eti Krom, Gemlik Gübre and Beykoz Kundura in 2004. After the acquisitions were finalized, the Group invested in modernization and improvement of these newly acquired mining and fertilizer companies, as they grew to become leading companies in their respective industries.
Beykoz Kundura, a century old leather and shoe factory, was repurposed as a film studio and started a culture and arts platform.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL INVESMENT
In 2008, YILDIRIM Group of Companies made its first international investment, taking over the Sweden-based ferroalloys producer Vargön Alloys. This represented just the first of many steps towards the Group’s globalization strategy.
After this takeover, the Group multiplied the targets for further acquisition plans and laid the groundwork for its future expansion.
YILDIRIM GOING GLOBAL
YILDIRIM’s mission to shape the future lays the foundation for its sustainable and profitable growth plan. The Group is taking bold steps globally, as part of this mission, and has grown to become a global force with headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Istanbul, Türkiye.
At present, YILDIRIM is running operations in 9 industries, employing a workforce of over 25,000 people and spanning over 56 countries on 5 continents.
NEW MARKETS, NEW INVESTMENTS
In 2022, YILDIRIM invested a total of 500 Mio USD in 5 new acquisitions, beginning to operate in 56 countries as Rosier SA, a leading fertilizer producer in Belgium and the Netherlands; Petrokemija, the largest chemical fertilizers producer in Croatia; and Elementis Chromium, a leading chromium chemicals producer in the USA, have recently become part of YILDIRIM Group.
YILPORT, the Group’s port & terminals subsidiary, also signed an agreement to operate the Takoradi Port in Ghana, and the Port of Šibenik in Croatia.