Abraaj Capital announces acquisition of strategic stake in Egypt’s leading integrated sugar company
Abraaj Capital, the premier private equity firm specialising in private equity investment in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, announced today the acquisition of a strategic stake in Al Nouran Holding, the leading vertically integrated sugar company in Egypt.
This investment will facilitate Al Nouran Holding’s establishment of a fully-owned sugar production facility. The largest integrated facility of its kind in the Middle East, it will also be the first privately owned sugar mill and refinery in Egypt. Construction of the facility is expected to begin this summer.
Al Nouran Holding’s hybrid beet-sugar mill and raw sugar refinery, located in close proximity to both prime farmland and Damietta Port, will have an annual production capacity of 514,000 tonnes, which will help bridge Egypt’s current annual production gap of 926,000 tonnes. This production facility, located in a prime beet-growing region, will specialise in processing beet sugar. Compared to cane, beet is gaining market share in the country due to its lower water consumption.
Established in 1983, Al Nouran Holding is currently Egypt’s leading sugar trader and largest distributor of white sugar. The company specialises in the import, export, marketing and distribution of soft commodities, with its primary focus on the raw and white sugar trade. Al Nouran Holding will leverage this experience when it introduces the new production facility.
Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Managing Director of Abraaj Capital, said: “The addition of a manufacturing facility to its existing trading and distribution capabilities will make Al Nouran Holding into a vertically integrated group capable of servicing the entire value chain. Led by an expert management team and benefiting from Egypt’s competitive labour and production costs, Al Nouran Holding is poised to greatly increase its share of both local and export markets.”
He added: “Al Nouran Holding is precisely the kind of efficient, integrated private-sector firm that is driving Egypt’s ongoing economic growth – and also represents our third significant investment in the country. By helping to meet domestic demand while also targeting export opportunities, Al Nouran Holding will make a substantial contribution to the economic well-being of Egypt and the wider region.”
Ashraf Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of Al Nouran Holding, said: “Abraaj Capital’s investment will provide us with the capital necessary to realise our ambitious plans for growth. While remaining firmly committed to our employees, customers, suppliers and trade partners, we are aiming to become the world’s leading supplier of refined sugar and sugar byproducts.”
The acquisition of a strategic stake in Al Nouran Holding was made by the Dubai-based investment firm through its Infrastructure and Growth Capital Fund (IGCF), which seeks to address the infrastructure requirements of the MENASA region in various sectors, including transportation, healthcare, water, manufacturing, petrochemicals, power and utilities, and education.
Abraaj Capital is currently one of the largest foreign investors in Egypt. Earlier this month, the firm acquired 100 per cent of Egyptian Fertilizers Company for US$1.41 billion, the largest private equity transaction in the history of the Middle East and North Africa region. In September 2006, Abraaj became the single largest shareholder in leading investment bank EFG-Hermes by way of a capital increase bringing Abraaj’s own issued share capital to US$1 billion. The company also owns controlling stake in Spinneys Egypt.
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