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Wed 3 Apr 2013 06:05 PM

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Qatar's Hassad buys stake in Indian rice firm

Agricultural investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund announces Bush Foods deal

Qatar's Hassad buys stake in Indian rice firm
(Getty Images)

Hassad Food Co, the agricultural investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, has bought a majority stake in an Indian basmati rice company for more than $100m, it was reported on Wednesday.

Hindu Business Line said Hassad Food had bought the stake in Bush Foods Overseas Ltd which sells basmati rice under the ‘Neesa’ brand.

“This is a strategic partnership with Hassad Food which is part of Qatar’s sovereign fund,” Bush Foods Managing Director and CEO Virkaran Awasty was quoted as saying.

“Hassad Food has picked up more than 51 percent stake in our company. They have invested more than $100m in this transaction,” he told the paper.

Hassad Food chairman Nasser Al Hajri would be chairman of Bush Foods, while Awasty would continue to be MD and CEO of the company, the paper reported

Awasty added: “The funds invested by the Hassad Food would be utilised for further growth of the company that includes increasing the processing capacity by 25-50 percent and brand promotion."

Hassad Food’s Al Hajri said he was "very excited about this acquisition".

Hassad Food said last year it may invest 500m euros ($625m) to increase food supplies for the desert emirate.

Qatar imports 90 percent of its food and established Hassad to secure supplies. The company announced plans to buy Turkish farmland in 2011.

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