UAE, 8 September, 2014 – Standard Chartered Private Equity (“SCPE”) announced today the acquisition of a significant minority stake in Al Jazeera Agricultural Company (“Al Jazeera”), the only fully integrated poultry and chicken feed producer and distributor in Jordan, through an equity investment of US$ 35 million. Al Jazeera is headquartered in Jordan and its main products include fresh and frozen chicken to retail consumers and wholesalers, parent and broiler hatching eggs and chicks, and chicken feed. The proceeds will be used to help position Al Jazeera in achieving its robust growth plans and to support its envisaged geographical expansion. SCPE will be granted two board seats and will provide strategic insight towards delivering on Al Jazeera’s regional expansion ambitions.
This is the first investment in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) food and agriculture sector for SCPE, first investment in Jordan and the fifth investment overall in the region. SCPE is committed to investing in successful MENA businesses across sectors and is actively seeking opportunities across the Middle East. SCPE invests in companies with proven cash flows, backed by best in class management teams in flexible private equity or mezzanine structures.
Taimoor Labib, Regional Head of MENA Private Equity & Head of Global Private Equity Portfolio Management at SCPE said:
“We are thrilled to become strategic partners with one of the leading poultry companies in Jordan. Al Jazeera’s high quality management team, strong growth prospects and successful backward integration has been impressive and we are pleased for this investment to be both our first in Jordan and our first in the MENA food and agricultural sector, as well as our fifth investment overall in the region. We look forward to working with our partners at Al Jazeera to take the company to a regional level and assist with its growth story.” Mr. Labib and his colleague Mr. Tariq Baareh will be joining Al Jazeera Board on behalf of SCPE.
Commenting on the investment, Ahmed Abu Eideh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Jordan said:
“We are pleased with this partnership which is in line with Standard Chartered’s continuous efforts to offer best-in-class products and services that suit the needs of our clients. The investment further demonstrates Standard Chartered’s commitment to support the national economy by focusing on long-term strategic relationships with major organisations in Jordan. “
Omar Al Husaini, Chairman of Al Jazeera said:
“We are extremely excited to team with SCPE, whose global network and resources will complement our company’s local industry expertise to become a regional player in the poultry sector. SCPE’s investment and team experience will be a cornerstone of Al Jazeera’s expansionary plans in Jordan and the GCC markets and the partnership will bring to Al Jazeera the necessary experience and guidance that will transform the company from a family business to a mature group company.
We also look forward to having Standard Chartered Bank as the core banking provider to Al Jazeera, which will play a crucial role in achieving the company’s strategic objectives. Our experience with Standard Chartered Bank Jordan has been outstanding and we intend to fully capitalise on the bank’s global capabilities and deep local knowledge to utilize the myriad of innovative products and services that the bank offers.
Finally, we would like to thank our financial advisor, Ithmar Invest, for the efforts it has exerted to consummate this transaction.”
SCPE is the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank. SCPE invests in companies in need of expansion capital or acquisition finance, and in management buy-outs. SCPE focuses on companies whose principal operations and management are located in Asia, Africa or the Middle East. It is an active partner that provides board-level strategic advice and access to the international network of Standard Chartered Bank, and since inception has invested about US$ 6 billion in over 100 companies across the bank’s footprint.