Almarai in deal to buy Egyptian food company
Riyadh, August 16, 2008
Saudi Arabia’s Almarai Company, the largest dairy company in the Gulf Arab region by market value, said on Saturday it has signed an initial agreement to buy an Egyptian dairy and juice manufacturer.
Almarai will sign the final deal to buy International Company for Agricultural Industrialisation Projects (Beeaty) once it completes financial, technical and legal audits, the Saudi firm said in a statement on the bourse website.
’Beeaty is Arabic for ’my environment’. If completed, the acquisition would be Almarai’s first in Egypt, the Arab world’s most-populous country - and home to twice as many people as the Gulf Arab region, where Almarai’s business is currently focused.
The firm gave no more details on the deal. Almarai has been diversifying its revenue sources through acquisitions, saying in July it would boost its investment budget to SR6 billion ($1.6 billion) for the five years to 2013.
A previous budget of SR4.7 billion had been set for the five years to the end of 2011.
Almarai’s second-quarter profit jumped 42.3 per cent rise on higher sales after it expanded its business regionally.
In 2006, Almarai agreed to buy Western Bakeries and International Bakery Services Co, and the firm is also part of a group led by Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company setting up Saudi Arabia’s third mobile phone firm, Zain Saudi Arabia.-Reuters
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