Local Business

Agthia okays acquisition of BMB Group

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on September 1, 2021

Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Agthia Group

Alan Smith, chief executive officer of Agthia Group

The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions including relevant regulatory approvals, would represent Agthia’s second investment in the snacking and healthy food market, following its acquisition of Al Foah earlier this year

Agthia Group, the region’s leading food and beverage company, on Wednesday announced that its board of directors has approved a strategic acquisition of a 100 per cent stake in BMB Group, the GCC’s leading innovative healthy snacks and food company.

BMB manufactures and distributes a wide variety of chocolate, Mediterranean sweets, bakery ingredients and healthy snacks and food for its own brands and partners.

Launched in 2007, BMB has a large portfolio of confectionery and healthy food brands — including Asateer, Al Qamar, Freakin’ Healthy and Benoit — and distributes over 2,000 SKUs in more than 23 countries worldwide, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and USA.

The acquisition of BMB would represent Agthia’s commitment to expanding its healthy food categories and enable the company to leverage the strength of BMB’s capabilities to accelerate its presence in the snacking and healthy food segment. Agthia established a footprint in the space earlier this year with the acquisition of date company Al Foah. With the global healthy snacks market forecast to reach almost Dh360 billion ($98 billion) by 2025 according to Euromonitor, Agthia is positioning itself in an expanding segment, with scalable regional and global brands.

The acquisition of BMB is expected to drive tangible short- and long-term value for all stakeholders with significant cost and revenue synergy opportunities from the integration of the combined platform, enabling footprint expansion in the confectionery market, healthy snacking market, and cross-market distribution.

“Earlier this year, we presented Agthia’s corporate strategy to the public, and outlined our commitment to investing into the fastest growing and profitable segments of the food and beverage space. The acquisition of BMB aligns with that mandate, and will accelerate the footprint of our snacking business, while adding strong brands and capabilities to our portfolio,” Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Agthia Group, said.

Alan Smith, chief executive officer of Agthia Group, said this acquisition would enable Agthia to expand its presence and operations in the snacking vertical, further diversifying our extensive product portfolio and geographic reach.

“In addition to immediate access to new revenue streams and markets, we are excited by the prospect of exploring opportunities to fuel product innovation, such as the development of new healthy and specialist snacks in response to market trends,” he said.

Bilal Ballout and Mohamad Khachab, co-chief executive officers of BMB Group, said: “As a homegrown UAE business, it gives us immense pride to partner with Agthia for the next phase of our growth, one in which we wish to serve our customers through increased product innovation, scale our business across the healthy foods segment, and continue to evolve into a truly global foods conglomerate. We would like to thank our customers, suppliers, and employees for the invaluable role that they continue to play in our journey and wish to welcome Agthia to the BMB family.”

During the Last Twelve Months (LTM) period ending June 30, 2021, BMB generated total revenues of around Dh268 million and EBITDA of approximately Dh54 million, with healthy EBITDA margins expected to grow to around 20 per cent this year.

The transaction will be for 100 per cent of BMB and is expected to be fully funded by cash, and immediately accretive to Agthia’s earnings.

BMB is headquartered in Dubai, UAE, where its two manufacturing facilities, stretching over a combined total of 150,000 square feet, are located. The Group employs nearly 1,000 staff.

The transaction is subject to satisfying customary closing conditions, including obtaining relevant regulatory approvals. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is acting as legal counsel to Agthia. EFG Hermes is acting as financial advisor to Agthia.

— business@khaleejtimes.com

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