Saudi Arabia’s Almarai plans to invest SR14.5bn ($3.9bn) by 2020 to expand its geographical footprint and improve asset base as part of its five-year business plan.
The company’s board has approved the plan, which also involves capital investments into replacement of existing assets; improvement of production capacities in farms and manufacturing segments and distribution and transportation facilities, the company said in statement to Saudi Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded.
This investment program will be financed from a combination of operating cash flow, bank loans and company’s sukuk program. “This plan reflects the recent global and regional economic developments, as well as the implications of the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030,’’ Almarai said in the statement.
Almarai will continue to strengthen its core businesses to increase returns in its poultry and infant nutrition categories, as well as the dairy and juice businesses in Egypt and Jordan. Almarai, the biggest dairy firm in the Gulf, operates through its subsidiaries in several countries including Argentina, Jordan, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, the US, Spain and Egypt.
The company had expressed interest in buying a controlling stake in the UAE’s National Food Products Company (NFPC), which had initiated a competitive sale process.
Almarai in April said that it was invited by the NFPC, one of the top food and dairy manufacturers and distributors in the UAE, to conduct due diligence.
The company was looking to raise SR2bn ($533m) of Islamic bonds in August last year to part-fund its SR21bn investment program over the next five years, according to a bourse statement. However it ended up securing $426m in a private offering to the UK- and Saudi-based investors, according to media reports.