Hassad Food buys $99m stake in Omani poultry farm
A’Saffa operates a 40-square-km facility in the south of Oman, where it produces 21 million chickens a year, which are sold to countries across the Middle East, as well as China, Vietnam and Pakistan.
Acting through its Zulal Investment Co subsidiary, Hassad bought out the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development’s stake in A’Saffa, according to a filing to the Muscat Securities Market this month..
“We are very happy with the deal. A'Saffa Foods has managed to establish its presence regionally and now it has become amongst the top respected food companies in the GCC,” said Saleh Mohammed Al Shanfari, chairman of A’Saffa Foods.
“To have a strong partner shareholder on board like Hassad Food of Qatar, I am confident that the company will further progress its way to an even stronger presence globally which will impact positively on our shareholders of the company,” he added.
Hassad Food is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, and is mainly tasked with bolstering the country’s food security through agricultural investments around the world. It already owns a 40% stake in Qatar’s only active poultry farm, the Arab Qatari Co.
“We are very excited about this acquisition, which is a strong testament that Hassad Food is on the right track towards achieving its vision in becoming a leading global provider of high quality food products,” said Nasser Al Hajri, chairman of Hassad Food.
“Hassad's mission is to invest in efficient, profitable, growth-oriented global brands, contributing to the welfare of Qatar and the region by providing high quality products while using the latest technology in harmony with the environment and adhering to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility. I am confident that this partnership is in line with what we are trying to achieve in supporting the economic development and integration with the GCC market,” he added.
Qatar’s poultry deficit
Qatar has been active with other poultry-related investments in recent months, as the country attempts to curb its chicken imports, which the US Department of Agriculture forecasts to reach 100,000 tonnes this year, compared to 11,000 tonnes of domestic production.
In December 2014 the Qatari government announced an initiative to lease a 5.7m square metre plot in the country to private investors, to develop a new domestic poultry farm. The US$206m project will have sufficient capacity to produce 45,000 tonnes of poultry by 2018, according to Bloomberg.