RIYADH: Saudi Arabian dairy and food producer Almarai Company's board has approved a 15.7-billion riyal ($4.2bn), five-year investment plan that will draw on finance from bank loans and sukuk, it said yesterday.
The money will replace the company's existing investment base and fund expansion between 2013 and 2017 of its operations in farming, manufacturing, distribution and logistics.
The company said the investment will also boost its product innovation and develop its Saudi workforce.
Almarai has been keen to expand its footprint outside its core presence in the Gulf. In December, it acquired Fondomonte which owns and operates farms in Argentina, to secure feed for its dairy herd and poultry businesses.
"Financing of this programme will be mostly done from the company's operating cash flows but it will also utilise expansion of its financing capabilities either via traditional bank facilities, Saudi Industrial Development Fund and Arab Development Fund funds or the sukuk programme recently launched," it said.
Almarai, the Gulf's largest dairy firm by market value, raised 1bn riyals through its first sukuk in March.