Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Saudi's Almarai raises stake in PepsiCo JV

Almarai, Saudi Arabia’s largest food producer by market value, on Wednesday said it has raised its stake in a joint venture with PepsiCo to 52 percent from 48 percent.
According to a statement to the Saudi bourse, Almarai said it had increased its shareholding in International Dairy and Juice (IDJ) through “an additional equity contribution by $22.4m".
IDJ was created in February 2009 between Almarai and PepsiCo, focusing on new business opportunities in dairy and juice products in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia - excluding the GCC countries.
"Through this change, both Almarai and PepsiCo are committed to making IDJ a successful and profitable venture," the statement added.Almarai has been keen to expand its footprint outside its core presence in the Gulf.
In December, the company acquired Fondomonte which owns and operates farms in Argentina, to secure feed for its dairy herd and poultry businesses.
It plans to invest $1.1bn in the poultry sector, it said in June.
Interest in Saudi Arabia's consumer sector is growing among international investors as the country's population rises beyond 27m, most of which are under the age of 30.
Coca-Cola Co invested $980m in Saudi Arabia-based beverage firm Aujan Industries in December.

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