Agthia completes acquisition of snacks maker BMB Group

The deal will allow the Abu Dhabi company to enter verticals such as the plant-based food industry

Agthia, the food and beverage company that produces Al Ain water, has been on a deal-making spree this year. Photo: Delores Johnson / The National
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Abu Dhabi food and beverages company Agthia has completed the acquisition of snacks maker BMB Group – its second deal within the health food sector as it forges ahead with a diversification push.

Agthia acquired BMB from its founders and co-chief executives Bilal Ballout and Mohamad Khachab, and an investment vehicle controlled by The Panarae Partnership, a privately held holding company, the Abu Dhabi-based food and beverage company said in a statement on Monday.

"The acquisition of BMB will create immediate value accretion for our shareholders, with significant growth prospects across Agthia’s product portfolio, geographical footprint, human capital and R&D capabilities,” said Khalifa Al Suwaidi, chairman of Agthia Group.

BMB manufactures and distributes a range of products under brands, including Asateer, Al Qamar, Freakin’ Healthy and Benoit. Formed in 2007, the company distributes more than 2,000 products in more than 23 countries worldwide, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the US.

The deal will allow Agthia to enter verticals such as the plant-based food industry, said Alan Smith, chief executive of Agthia Group.

The acquisition will help deliver "immediate growth through established brands distributed across key regional and global markets", Mr Smith said.

"Together we will take these brands to new markets, as well as utilise BMB’s distribution network to widen the reach of Agthia’s product portfolio in exciting markets such as the US and Canada," Mr Smith said. Long term, the acquisition will allow Agthia to be "at the forefront of new consumer trends”.

The plant-based food industry is a $30 billion sector, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Intelligence. It is expected to grow more than 450 per cent over the next decade to exceed $162bn.

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.

These have included the purchase of Kuwait's Al Faysal Bakery and Sweets, Jordan's Nabil Foods and the world's largest date processing and packaging company, Al Foah.

It also completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Egypt-based meat processor Ismailia Investments – also known as Atyab – in September to expand its portfolio in the Arab world’s most populous country and get a foothold in the frozen-food product market.

These acquisitions have helped Agthia's profit to grow tenfold in the first nine months this year to Dh103 million.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was legal counsel to Agthia and EFG Hermes acted as financial adviser to Agthia.

Updated: December 14, 2021, 3:47 AM