Cargill announces intention to create JV with Arasco that will focus on starches and sweeteners in Saudi Arabia; JV will acquire Arasco's existing corn milling facility in Al Kharj

COBHAM, , January 23, 2013 (press release) – Cargill and Arasco have announced today their intention to create a new starches and sweeteners joint venture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The new joint venture company will acquire Arasco’s existing corn milling facility in Al Kharj and will produce starch based products primarily for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, as well as Yemen, Iraq and Jordan.

This joint venture will mark Cargill’s first operations in the Kingdom and will build on Cargill’s global capabilities in food ingredients and Arasco’s already proven successful local knowledge and supply chain infrastructure.

Speaking about the importance of this new geography and growing industry, Frank van Lierde, Executive Vice President, Cargill said, “The Middle East region represents the highest growth area for the food and drink industry in the world. The rapidly changing demographics in the region and the growth of consumer choice means that this joint venture will be well placed to help our customers meet this rapidly developing market.”

“By partnering with Arasco and combining the strengths of both our companies, this joint venture will not only help us create enhanced solutions for our customers but most importantly local solutions,” continued van Lierde.

The intent is to triple production at the Al Kharj plant to meet the growing demand across the confectionery, juice, bakery and catering segments in the region.

Glucose and starch production capacities will more than double and the product offering will be expanded to include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to serve the growing food and beverage industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“This is an exciting opportunity for both companies to offer our customers – new or existing – a broader portfolio of products and solutions,” said Dr Abdulmalik Alhusseini, Chief Executive Officer, Arasco. “Through this joint venture, we can expand our facilities more quickly and launch new products, such as HFCS to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are looking forward to working with Cargill to build and strengthen our existing successful corn milling operations in the Kingdom.”

Going forward, the joint venture will also pave the way for discovering further opportunities for growth in the region and to support customers with other food ingredient solutions. The joint venture has potential for further expansion in line with customer demand.

Once the agreement is finalised, Cargill will take a 20 percent stake in the joint venture, while Arasco will take a 80 percent stake and management control. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals.

Contacts

Wendy Garbutt: +44 1932 861174, wendy_garbutt@cargill.com
Ziyad Alsheikh: +966506483418, Ziyad@arasco.com
Fahad Alshehri: +966560000286, F.Shehri@arasco.com

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Notes for editors:

Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to sharing its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.

For more information, visit http://www.cargill.com.

Arasco

ARASCO was founded in 1983 in Riyadh and has grown steadily to become a prominent agri-food conglomerate with a workforce of more than 2,200. The company’s mission is to support food security in a sustainable way in the MENA region with particular emphasis on Saudi Arabia. ARASCO operates along the food value chain via a portfolio of tightly-related businesses which include raw materials trade, feed milling, corn refining, broilers production and marketing, farm inputs and services, feed and food phosphates manufacturing, food safety and quality services, and logistical services.

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