Kuwait's Mezzan gets Saudi foothold with Al Safi deal

Food, beverage and pharma firm says it has completed acquisition of 70% of Saudi-based start-up

Kuwait-based Mezzan Holding, one of the largest food, beverage, and pharma manufacturing and distribution companies in the Gulf, has completed the acquisition of 70 percent of Al Safi Food Company.

The deal effectively grants Mezzan Holding a platform to manufacture and distribute food and beverage products in Saudi Arabia, the company said in a statement.

Based in Riyadh, Al Safi Food Company is a start-up food manufacturing company established by Saudi Arabia's Al Faisaliah Group which will hold the remaining 30 percent stake.

Mezzan Holding said it acquired the 70 percent stake through a capital injection of SR90.75 million.

Mezzan Holding operates in seven countries through 29 subsidiaries and 7,500 employees, and generates about 75 percent of its revenues through retail-based activities.

Mezzan Holding vice-chairman, Mohammed Al Wazzan, said: "Saudi Arabia represents a key growth market for our company. We look forward to grow our business in the kingdom and serve Saudi households with high quality food products along our local partners, the Al Faisaliah Group."

Mezzan Holding CEO Garry Walsh added: "The acquisition marks our real entry into the kingdom's food manufacturing and distribution sector.

"By 2018, we expect our Saudi business to contribute between 5-10 percent to our top line, and to grow there as the new Saudi-based food manufacturing facilities that we have planned start production."

Al Safi Food Company will be renamed Mezzan Food Company, the statement added.

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