Abu Dhabi's Agthia acquires 60% stake in Egyptian snacks maker Auf Group

Founders of the healthy snacks and coffee manufacturer will retain a combined stake of 30% in the business

Agthia, the food and beverage company that produces Al Ain water, has been on a deal-making spree. Sammy Dallal / The National
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Abu Dhabi-based food and beverage company Agthia has acquired a 60 per cent stake in Egypt's Auf Group, a healthy snacks and coffee manufacturer, as it continues to expand its portfolio.

Agthia’sboard of directors has approved the strategic acquisition of Auf Group, which has a presence in Egypt and the Netherlands, Agthia said in a statement on Thursday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Auf Group’s founders will retain a combined stake of 30 per cent in the business, while Tanmiya Capital Ventures, an Egyptian private equity firm which invested in Auf Group in 2019, will hold the remaining 10 per cent stake.

The acquisition is subject to satisfying customary closing conditions, including obtaining relevant regulatory approvals, the statement said.

“As part of our strategy to stimulate growth and enhance our operations, we are focused on expanding Agthia’s footprint in the MENAP [Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan] region,” Khalifa Al Suwaidi, chairman of Agthia Group, said.

The acquisition is a “compelling opportunity to bolster our delivery of this commitment, while further penetrating one of the region’s fastest-growing consumer markets”, he added.

Established in 2010, Auf Group processes, manufactures, retails and distributes various products such as coffee, nuts, healthy snacks and other confectionery products sold under the ‘Abu Auf’ master brand across Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous economy.

Agthia, which is owned by Abu Dhabi's state holding company ADQ, has been on a deal-making spree in an effort to become the biggest food and beverage company in the region by 2025.

Its first-quarter net profit jumped almost 64 per cent on an annual basis as the company’s quarterly sales surpassed Dh1 billion ($272.3 million) for the first time. Total assets were Dh6.6bn as of March 31.

In May, Agthia announced expansion into Saudi Arabia with a greenfield investment worth Dh90m that will be used to set up a manufacturing unit in the kingdom.

Last December, the company completed the acquisition of snacks maker BMB Group, and in September it acquired a 75.02 per cent stake in Egypt-based meat processor Ismailia Investments, also known as Atyab.

“Following our partnership with an institutional investor in 2019 to further accelerate growth and institutionalise the company, we believe we are now ready for the next step in our journey,” Ahmed Auf, chief executive of Auf Group, said.

“We … are very excited by the prospect of partnering with Agthia to expand our reach, realise our potential and grow our footprint in the UAE and beyond.”

In 2021, Auf Group generated revenue of Dh236m and Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of nearly Dh58m.

Updated: July 14, 2022, 5:18 PM