RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA — The Saudi Arabian government recently sold its last two flour mills to a pair of consortiums, according to a Bloomberg report.
The report said one mill was sold for $570 million to a consortium that included National Agricultural Development Co., Olam International, Sulaiman Abdulaziz AlRajhi International, and Abdulaziz AlAjlan & Sons. The other mill was sold for $230 million to a consortium comprised of Abdullah Al Othaim Markets, Allana International Alliance, and United Feed Manufacturing.
Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), the state grain purchaser for Saudi Arabia, sold its other two flour mills last year to the Raha AlSafi consortium for $540.1 million and to the Alrajhi-Ghurair-Masafi consortium for $200 million.
In 2018, Saudi Arabi’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs approved SAGO’s plan to sell its flour mills as part of the government’s privatization drive started under Vision 2030.
The privatization process had attracted interest from some of the world’s largest agribusiness companies, including Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd., and was seen as a litmus test for other large state asset sales to follow.
SAGO is one of the world’s largest wheat and barley buyers. Saudi Arabia has been a major wheat importer since 2008 when it abandoned its plans for self-sufficiency.