EGYPT – Baladna, one of Qatar’s largest dairy processors, has acquired a 5% stake in the Egyptian company, Juhayna Food Industries for about QR67.085m (US$18.4m).

In a statement published on the Qatar Stock Exchange website, Baladna highlighted that the number of shares acquired totalled 47.117m, through several purchases of shares from the market.

The move marks Baladna’s entry into the North African market with a promising food and beverage sector backed by its burgeoning population of more than 100m people.

Juhayna, the Egyptian Stock Exchange listed company specializing in the production, processing and packaging of dairy, juice, and cooking products.

Since its inception in 1983 it has expanded its presence in the Middle East and is a market leader in Egypt’s food industry, with its dairy division controlling 58% and 53% of the fresh milk and yogurt market in the country, respectively.

The company has continued to innovate, introducing new products to the Egyptian marke, almost on annual basis, and to date boasts of over 200 products spread across its milk, yogurt, juice, and UHT cream product lines.

Juhayna is expected to achieve greater returns in light of a strong distribution network.

Baladna also announced it has signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with Inter Plastic, one of the leading plastic packaging factories in Qatar, to supply plastic packaging material.

The agreement aims to enable Baladna to procure high-quality packaging solutions that meet international standards and are locally manufactured.

Piet Hilarides, Baladna CEO, said, “As a company that contributes to achieving food self-sufficiency in Qatar, Baladna has a keen focus on promoting the development of local content and strengthening local supply chains.

“Our strategic supply chain programme relies on procurement of raw materials and services from local suppliers that meet quality and safety standards. We hope that our partnership with Inter Plastic will help us further these objectives.”

The partnership is in line with Baladna’s ongoing commitment to contributing to greater economic and industrial integration and interdependence between Qatari companies.

The company places importance on economic multipliers such as the collaboration with the local manufacturer to increase in-country value.

Sheikh Hamad Thamer Mohammed Jassim Al Thani, chairman of Inter Plastic, added, “We are pleased to collaborate with Baladna and support its efforts contributing to a self-reliant food sector in Qatar.

“Through our products that are designed at the highest quality and production efficiency, we will contribute to our partner’s successes.”

Baladna has one of the largest livestock farms in the region, spreading over an area of 2.4 million sqm, supplying it with its raw milk requirements for processing.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE