Agthia’s shareholders approve merger with Al Foah to create food and beverage giant

The deal is expected to close by the end of this year

The shareholders  of Agthia, the Abu Dhabi food and beverage company that owns the Al Ain Water brand, approved a merger with Al Foah. Silvia Razgova / The National
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Abu Dhabi-based food and beverage company Agthia said on Monday its shareholders approved its merger with Al Foah, the world’s largest date processing and packaging company.

"The combined group will have the scale, ambition, and strong capabilities across the value chain to support its future expansion plans, as one of the top 10 consumer food and beverage groups in the Middle East," Agthia said in a statement.

The deal is also expected to “fortify Agthia’s position as a national and regional leader in four key food and beverage product lines, including water, dates, flour, and animal feed”.

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

According to the proposal, Senaat will transfer the entire issued share capital of Al Foah to Agthia for 120 million convertible shares in the food and beverage company at Dh3.75 a share.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, after which Senaat will own 59.17 per cent of Agthia, up from 51 per cent currently.

Senaat is the sole shareholder of Al Foah.

Agthia, which is known for water brands such as Al Ain and Al Bayan, is also looking to acquire Kuwait's Al Faysal Bakery and Sweets and signed a sales purchase agreement with the firm earlier this month.

“Upon completion of the transaction with Al Foah, the group will immediately rise to become a regional champion in the date market with substantial global prospects, diversifying its product portfolio and expanding its international footprint,” Alan Smith, chief executive Agthia Group, said.

“Moreover, the combination with Al Faysal gives us an important foothold in Kuwait via one of its leading bakery companies.”