Second-generation conglomerate Doğan Holding started out in the automotive industry and now operates in several sectors. The company is optimistic about growth, but the delicate political situation in Turkey means the future won’t be without its difficulties.
In a little over 50 years, Doğan has become one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates – a country which is not short of big family-controlled companies. The company was founded in 1961 by Aydın Doğan (pictured), who started out in the automotive industry. In 1979 Doğan acquired its first national newspaper, which was followed by the purchase of TV and radio stations. It now has interests in seven sectors – energy, retail, financial services, tourism, media, heavy industry and automobile parts, and operates in 17 different countries. Aydın’s four daughters now head the company. For the past 10 years they have been running a company-supported anti-domestic violence campaign in Turkey.
Aydın, now 77, still acts as the group’s honorary chairman, but his third daughter, Begümhan Doğan Faralyalı is the official chair – taking the job in 2012 after a long apprenticeship working on the company’s various international expansion initiatives. Non-family member Yahya Üzdiyen has been chief executive since 2011, overseeing revenue increases of 10% between 2011 and 2012. For the future, the company is focusing on media and energy to drive growth. The family are still the business’s main shareholders, with Aydın holding a little over 10% of the shares independently, the family owning a 4.4% stake outright, and 52.7% held in a family-controlled investment vehicle.
The secular outlook of many of Turkey’s business dynasties have put them at odds with the Islamist government. Doğan and fellow family business Koç Holding were recently accused of backing the 1997 overthrow of the country’s first Islamist-led coalition. Many senior military leaders are currently on trial for their role in what was dubbed a “post-modern coup”, where the army didn’t intervene directly but were suspected of forcing then prime minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign. Current prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of the Justice and Development party, was a member of Erbakan’s Welfare party at the time of the coup. The uncertainty caused by the accusations hit the share prices of both Doğan and Koç.
DOĞAN HOLDING IN NUMBERS
TL 3,157 billion
10% from 2011