Egypt's largest private farm acquires debt and accelerates momentum on ambitious expansion plans that include the purchase of livestock and the construction of state-of-the-art dairy facilities
Dina for Agricultural Investments SAE (Dina Farms), the agricultural arm of Gozour, the integrated regional multi-category consumer foods platform established by leading MENA private equity firm Citadel Capital and leading regional co-investors, has signed an EGP 200 million loan agreement with three prominent Egyptian banks.
Despite the challenging lending environment, Citadel Capital arranged a four-year loan with favorable facilities on behalf of Dina Farms. Ahly United Bank acted as the lead arranger on the syndicated loan with the Egyptian Arab Land Bank and United Bank.
“The EGP 200 million is mainly intended to finance the expansion of Dina Farms’ Dairy Operation which includes the purchase of high-quality livestock and related CAPEX,” said Ahmed El Houssieny, Managing Director at Citadel Capital. “We are very pleased to have concluded this agreement and expanded our banking relationships to include these well-established Egyptian banks.”
Dina Farms has recently purchased 1,900 new pedigree Holstein heifers (pregnant cows) from North America. Its herd of top-quality, internationally certified milking cows has now grown to 6,000 milking cows from the 4,000 animals that were in place at the end of 2008. Dina Farms now has a total herd of 11,000 milking and non-milking cows.
Two milking stations have already been constructed to accommodate the new heifers and a third is in the process of being built. With an annual production capacity of 36,000 tons of milk in 2008, which is on track to expand to up to 46,000 tons in 2009, Dina Farms is by far the largest producer of fresh milk in Egypt. Future plans for Dina Farms’ dairy operation include the potential doubling of its herd within the next 3-5 years.
“The injection of fresh funds into our operation will help us to implement our business plan at a much faster pace,” said Gozour Agri’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ahmed Seddik. “The current and planned expansions will ultimately lead to product development and the establishment of specialty retail outlets.”
Gozour was established by Citadel Capital and a consortium of leading regional co-investors as a holding company for an integrated regional multi-category consumer foods platform. The group includes three primary lines of business: agri-foods and dairy (Gozour Agri), fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG, Gozour Foods) and intermediate goods such as corn, sugar, flour, maize and skimmed milk powder (Gozour Intermediate). Gozour companies include Dina Farms, El Aguizy, Rashidi El-Mizan, El-Misriyyeen, Mom’s Food and a stake in the National Company for Maize Production.
Citadel Capital is the leading private equity firm focusing on building regional platform investments throughout the Middle East and Africa in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity Specific Funds. Citadel Capital’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.3 billion in 14 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, the firm has returned more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash to investors, more than any other private equity firm in the region.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications,
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)