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GrowthGate buys stake in Saudi food company

Dubai, October 18, 2010

GrowthGate, a Gulf-based specialist buyout firm, said it has reached a final agreement to acquire a 22 per cent stake in Jeddah-based International Foods Services.

The acquisition deal marks the eighth direct equity investment by GrowthGate since its capitalization in mid 2007, the first in the food sector and its third in Saudi Arabia, said a company statement.

GrowthGate said the deal was likely to be closed by the month end. However, it did not disclose the value of the acquisition.

International Foods is a Saudi conglomerate engaged in food processing, distribution of consumables (wholesale & retail), and catering services.

Apart from Saudi Arabia, the company owns and operates several processing plants for meat, jams, dairies, potato chips and baked food products in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.

International Foods has made significant inroads in catering including, in the labor segment, the Hajj pilgrims’ niche market, and the Halal airline meals.

On the wholesale front, the company’s dry and cold storage facilities support the marketing and distribution of its fully-owned brands: ‘Gold Fields’, ‘hot & crispy’, ‘Versailles Pain’ and ‘Jeena’, and other international labels.

On the retail side, the company owns the ‘Ahlan’ mini-markets chain that operates in Saudi, UAE and Syria, as well as, a string of well-established food outlets (Capo Grillo and Hot & Crispy).

International Foods CEO Ziad Rayess said, 'We are encouraged by GrowthGate’s investment which is a vote of confidence in International Foods and its strategy of expansion both in terms of business lines and footprint across the GCC, the Levant and North Africa”.

'The integration of food processing, food distribution, and added value services, such as catering, has been a successful recipe in this sector to capitalize on economies of scale and exploit synergies,' he explained.

'We view this investment as a validation of our business model by a value-investor such as GrowthGate who is known to back management teams in promising enterprises with growth-orientated strategies and regionally expandable businesses,' Rayess added.

GrowthGate, managed by Keystone, follows a ‘buy and build’ investment strategy that partners with performance-driven entrepreneurs with solid growth plans, to propel medium-sized businesses into becoming regional champions, and beyond.

GrowthGate said its current portfolio comprises Able Logistics Group, Gama Aviation Holding, Roots Group; Averda International, Rubicon Holding, IrisGuard; and Roots Steel.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi | GrowthGate | International Foods Services |

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