Muhtar Kent, the president and CEO of Efes Breweries International NV, the Netherlands-based unit of Turkey's Efes Beverage Group, has said that the brewing operation is planning an initial public offering for the first half of 2004.

Kent said the exact timing of the IPO would depend on market conditions but market sources have suggested that the first quarter of 2004 would be the most likely time.

"We're projecting that the offering is possible in the first half of 2004," Kent said, adding that the offering will be for a 12.5% to 15% stake in the company.