DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Al Ghurair Investment, Al Rajhi Holding Group and Masafi have completed a 100% stake acquisition of the Third Milling Co. (MC3) from Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) / National Center for Privatization and PPP (NCP).

SAGO, the state grain buyer for Saudi Arabia, is selling its flour milling business as part of the country’s broader plan to overhaul its economy. SAGO approved a plan to sell its flour mills as part of the privatization drive started under Vision 2030.

The AlRajhi-AlGhurair-Masafi Consortium acquired MC3 through a competitive tender process led by SAGOC and the NCP.

“The completion of the strategic acquisition of MC3 marks a milestone in the move toward the privatization of crucial sectors by Saudi Arabia and aligns to AGI’s strategy to support governments as they seek to enhance food security throughout the region,” said John Iossifidis, group chief executive officer of Al Ghurair Investment. “We are grateful to NCP, SAGO and our consortium partners for their trust in our commitment to advancing the development of the grains sector.

“Al Ghurair Investment has a long and proud history in the flour sector, having established Dubai’s first milling company in 1976. We look forward to bringing this experience to Saudi Arabia and leveraging it to spur the growth and diversification of MC3. This investment builds on decades of sustainable growth aimed at enhancing the life of the communities in which we operate.”

SAGO will continue to oversee MC3 as part of its role of regulator of the milling sector and supplier of wheat, barley and other grains to the milling companies in Saudi Arabia.

“This is a historic and landmark transaction that is a major step toward the Kingdom’s vision to increase private sector participation in the Saudi Arabian economy,” said Esmail Al Sallom, group chief investment officer of Al Rajhi Holding Group. “As one of the pioneers in the privatization landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al Rajhi Holding Group aims to leverage on its PPP experience in the other sectors (including power and development, operation and maintenance of airports) and the knowledge of AGF in the food business, in order to improve operational efficiency and performance, drive new product development, enhance distribution networks, increase market penetration, and enrich the overall consumer experience.”

The consortium looks forward to creating a more dependable domestic commodities sector in Saudi Arabia.

“This successful undertaking accentuates the strategic efforts that the AlRajhi-AlGhurair-Masafi Consortium are mobilizing to create a more resilient local commodities sector,” said Saood Al Ghurair, CEO and vice chairman of Masafi. “Masafi being the first bottled water company in the UAE and one of the leading in the region since 1977, we understand the importance and impact of forward-looking proactive initiatives to advance the strategic food security agenda. We applaud the combined efforts of the consortium and we believe that the collective knowledge will bring about a stronger sector amidst growing local demand.”

Saudi Arabia has been a major wheat importer since 2008, when it abandoned its plans for self-sufficiency.

Al Ghurair Investment has diversified operations spanning more than 50 countries across the globe, employing approximately 28,000 people. Today, it has operations in six sectors, including food, resources, properties, construction, energy and ventures.

Al Rajhi Holding Group is a family-owned conglomerate based in Riyadh with business interests in manufacturing of petrochemicals, real estate, contracting, fabrics, building solutions, plastics and developing major infrastructure projects. It has more than 12,000 employees.

Established in 1976 and headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, Masafi Co. is a producer of pure natural mineral water, fresh juices and juice drinks available in a growing number of countries across the Middle East and beyond. A private venture of the Al Ghurair family, Masafi has been shaping the consumer goods sector with its commitment to innovation and quality.