Halal Industry

Almarai increases stake in bakery business

A subsidiary of Saudi Arabian food group Almarai has increased its ownership in a bakery company.

Western Bakeries bought an additional 15% stake in Modern Food Industry for 150 million riyals ($40 million) from Olayan Financing Company, Almarai said in a filing on the Saudi Exchange on Sunday (May 9).

Modern Food Industry manufactures and sells long shelf-life bakery products under the brand 7Days.

The acquisition was fully-financed from Almarai's operating cash flows. 

This deal further strengthens Almarai's bakery business, after it agreed in March to buy the UAE and Bahrain operations of Bakemart in a deal worth 93.5 million dirhams ($25.5 million). 

Almarai posted a 1.46% increase in revenue to 3.65 billion riyals for the first-quarter of this year, driven mainly by dairy and other sales. 

The company last week announced plans to invest 6.6 billion riyals into its poultry business to double its market share in Saudi Arabia. 

Almarai is 34.52% owned by Saudi food conglomerate Savola, 23.69% by Prince Sultan Mohamed Saud Al Kabeer Al Saud, and 16.32% by SALIC, the state-owned Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company.

The company has been stepping up its local production, and merger and acquisition activity in line with the Saudi government's increase focus on food security. 

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