Agthia completes merger with Al Foah

Senaat now owns 59.17% of the entire issued share capital of Agthia, up from the 51% it owned before the deal

Agthia owns water brands such as Al Ain and Al Bayan. Delores Johnson / The National
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Abu Dhabi-based food and beverage company Agthia completed its merger with Al Foah, the world’s largest date processing and packaging company.

The merger comes after the industrial conglomerate General Holding Corporation (Senaat), owned by state holding company ADQ, submitted a non-binding offer to the board of Agthia Group to swap its shares in Al Foah in October last year. Agthia and Al Foah Company are both owned by ADQ through Senaat.

"With the integration of Al Foah into Agthia as a strategic business unit, Agthia has instantly become the domestic market leader in four essential food and beverage categories: water, dates, flour, and animal feed, in addition to having a diversified international exposure within the date category," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

"As a more robust, diversified, and consumer-centric food and beverage player, Agthia will have an even stronger platform to compete across the Mena region and beyond."

Senaat now owns 59.17 per cent of the entire issued share capital of Agthia, up from 51 per cent before the share swap deal.

Agthia's board of directors approved the merger in November last year.

"We have a clear roadmap for growth and diversification of geographies and products, underpinned by a robust balance sheet," said Khalifa Al Suwaidi, chairman of Agthia Group and chief investment officer atADQ.

Agthia, which is known for water brands such as Al Ain and Al Bayan, has been diversifying its businesses in recent years. The company said last year it is looking to acquire Kuwait’s Al Faysal Bakery and Sweets and signed a purchase agreement with the firm.

The merger with Al Foah will help Agthia gain a stronger foothold in the date market.

"As a leader in the global date market, the integration of Al Foah as a strategic business unit of Agthia enables us to immediately become a regional champion and a serious competitor on a global scale in a very promising food category," said Alan Smith, chief executive of Agthia Group. "The global date market is exhibiting very encouraging market fundamentals with constructive demand and supply dynamics."