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Saudi Arabia's Salic, Brazil's Minerva Buy Australia Lamb Company For About $260 Mln

PARIS, France - The Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, and Brazilian meatpacker Minerva has acquired the Australian Lamb Company (ALC) for 970 million riyals ($258 million), SALIC said in a statement on Friday.

The acquisition was done through Minerva Food Australia, a joint venture established last year between SALIC and Minerva Foods, SALIC said.

According to a securities filing, following the deal, Minerva will hold about 15% of the lamb and sheep market in Australia, where it already owns Shark Lake and Great Eastern Abattoir.

''We believe the consolidation of our operations in Australia, the investments in improving facilities and maximizing operational and commercial structures would bring significant synergies in the coming months'', Minerva said, without providing further details on cost savings.

Australian Lamb Company has a slaughtering capacity of 3.78 million animals per year and owns two processing plants in the state of Victoria, Minerva noted, adding the exports account for 93% of its sales.

''The Acquisition of ALC in partnership with Minerva is in-line with SALIC's strategy to contribute to the national food security objectives through globally diversified investments in countries with a competitive advantage such as Australia'', Sulaiman Al Rumaih, CEO of SALIC group said.

The Brazilian company expects the deal to improve its penetration in niche markets and expands its portfolio of products with greater added value.

SALIC, which was formed in 2011 to secure food supplies for the desert kingdom through mass production and foreign investments, owns 31% of the share capital of Minerva.



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