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Monday, 12 April 2021

Emirati foods group Agthia has big plans for Egypt and MENA

Egypt is a priority market for UAE-based foods group Agthia, which plans to become a MENA leader by 2025 through boosting efficiency and striking more M&A agreements, Chief Executive Alan Smith tells Reuters. The company is currently in talks to acquire 75% of Ismailia Agricultural and Industrial Investments, the frozen meat and poultry producer which owns the Atyab brand and other brands in Egypt. Agthia’s board of directors approved the EGP 3.2 bn bid last week, putting the acquisition on track to close before the end of 1H2021. The agreement will primarily be financed through bank debt, Smith told the newswire today but gave no further details.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Turkey are also important markets for the subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s investment arm ADQ, Smith says, noting that Pakistan is another country on the Emirati company’s radar. Agthia is planning to smooth into the corporate transition through hiring more strategically and bringing on board executives with prior experience in running large multinational firms, he adds.

Expansion through acquisition: Agthia, whose main products include baked goods, frozen foods, and bottled water, has a market capitalization of USD 1.3 bn, which is lower than its regional rivals Saudi’s Almarai and Savola Group, notes the newswire. But the company has recently been expanding primarily through acquisitions. The group earlier this year closed a takeover bid of Kuwait’s Al Faysal Bakery and Sweets and is close to wrapping up a separate agreement to buy out Amman-based Nabil Food Industries that is pending regulatory approvals. It also acquired Emirati dates producer Al Foah around the same time.

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