ISTANBUL (April 16. 2004) — Sakip Sabanci, head of Turkey's Sabanci Holding — which includes the tire maker Brisa Bridgestone Sabanci Tire Manufacturing and Trading — died April 10 at age 71 from complications related to cancer.
Mr. Sabanci, considered one of the world's wealthiest individuals and a leading pilanthropist in Turkey, oversaw the founding in 1974 in Izmit of tire maker Lassa Tire Inc., which 14 years later was turned into a joint venture with Bridgestone Corp.
Sabanci Holdings also has a tire cord processing company, KordSA, and three other tire-related joint ventures — DUSA (DuPont-Sabanci) International L.L.C., BEKSA (Bekaert-Sabanci) Steel Cord Manufacturing and Trading Inc. and SAKosa Sabanci Industrial Yarn and Tire Manufacturing and Trading Inc. — on the same site in Izmit.
Mr. Sabanci inherited control of Sabanci Holdings in 1966 upon the death of his father, Haci Omer Sabanci, who had gone into business for himself in 1932 and built an empire of companies over the following three decades.
Sabanci Holdings today reports more than $5 billion in annual sales and has joint ventures with more than a dozen leading industrial companies, including Toyota Motor Corp., Kraft Foods International, Banque Nationale de Paris, Dresdner Bank and Philip Morris International Inc.
A state funeral was held April 13 in Istanbul. Mr. Sabanci is survived by his wife, Turkan, a son and two daughters.