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EBRD to boost Egyptian and Jordanian dairy sectors

By Nibal Zgheib

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US$ 100 million loan to dairy and juice producer Almarai

  • EBRD loan of US$ 100 million to Almarai to finance operations in Egypt and Jordan
  • Local suppliers to upgrade operational standards and product quality
  • Dairy sector diagnostic study to be launched in Jordan

The EBRD is lending up to US$ 100 million to food and beverages producer Almarai for new investments in Egypt and Jordan.

The Saudi company operates in Egypt and Jordan through its respective subsidiaries Beyti and Teeba. Both subsidiaries are 52 per cent owned by Almarai, and 48 per cent owned by Pepsico, with whom Almarai set up the joint venture, International Dairy and Juice, in 2009.

In Egypt, the loan will allow Beyti to fund additional dairy and juice production capacity to address increasing demand for its products, and associated growing working capital needs.

In Jordan, the proceeds will enable Teeba to strengthen its capital base and provide fresh funding to support Teeba’s permanent working capital needs. In addition, a diagnostic study of milk producers, processors and intermediaries in Jordan will highlight best practices and potential improvements in the raw milk supply chain in the country. The study, funded by the European Union, will aim to identify bottlenecks in the sector and develop recommendations.

As well as boosting further integration and efficiency in the Egyptian and Jordanian dairy and juice sectors, the loan aims to facilitate further foreign direct investments in the Egyptian and Jordanian agribusiness value chains.

Tarek El Sherbini, Head of Agribusiness for the southern and eastern Mediterranean at the EBRD, said: “Almarai is an important partner of the EBRD and a key player in the food sector in the Middle East and North Africa. This transaction marks another step in the expanded cooperation across common economies of operations. We are looking forward to continuing our strategic partnership with Almarai.”

Almarai is listed on the Saudi stock exchange with a market capitalisation of approximately US$ 13 billion and is one of the leading food groups in the Middle East and North Africa. The company’s consolidated sales and total assets in 2018 stood at US$ 3.7 billion and US$ 8.6 billion, respectively.

The EBRD has invested over €7.6 billion in more than 165 projects in Egypt and Jordan since it began investments in the two countries after 2012.

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