Agribusiness expert John Elgin takes the helm at Sabina as the platform company begins preparing 254,770 feddans of land for cultivation in Sudan's White Nile State
Sabina, Citadel Capital’s Platform Company for investments in Sudan’s agriculture sector, has just announced that it has hired industry veteran John Elgin as its new Chief Executive Officer. In the coming months, Elgin, former Agribusiness Manager for Commonwealth Bank, one of Australia’s leading providers of integrated financial services, will be putting together a management team to run the day-to-day operations of the company.
Elgin is an Australian national with professional experience that spans the globe. He has been accredited with successfully establishing two specialized agribusiness consulting companies and spearheading business development in the agribusiness sectors in highly competitive markets including the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, China, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ivory Coast and South Africa.
In his previous post with Commonwealth Bank, Elgin built the bank’s largest and best-performing agribusiness portfolio in his region within his first 12 months on the job. He also helped establish a network of high-net-worth individuals, corporations and funds to finance new projects in the pipeline.
As Managing Director of Meristem Management, a niche consultancy firm that specialized in developing investment strategies, Elgin structured and modeled multi-million dollar Agribusiness investments in Australia across all sectors.
“Launching a large-scale agricultural cultivation project in a market like Sudan will require a management team with a diversified skill-set that can properly harness the tremendous amount of potential that exists in the country,” said Citadel Capital Managing Director and Co-Founder Hisham El-Khazindar.
“Elgin’s ability to lead this team and his experience in structuring and negotiating debt financing for complex agribusiness deals will be of great benefit to Sabina,” he added.
Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa with investments of more than US$ 8.3 billion, obtained a 99-year freehold on 254,770 feddans of fertile agricultural land in September 2008 with full irrigation rights. The firm will use the land to develop large-scale agricultural cultivation and to establish a sugar processing plant.
Some 38 kilometers of the freehold are located directly on the Nile near the city of Kosti in Sudan’s White Nile State. Existing canal infrastructure will allow the immediate cultivation of 5,000 feddans with minimal investments.
Citadel Capital plans to develop Sabina, which is shaping up to be one of the largest agricultural projects Sudan, in three stages. The first stage will involve 60,000 feddans to be cultivated during the next five years. Sabina will supply fresh produce to local, regional and international clients and could eventually become a major player in the food processing sector with products including halawa, sunflower oil, sugar and sugar derivatives.
“I look forward to the challenge of leading Sabina and putting together a management team that will be capable of getting the operation up and running as quickly, efficiently and cost effectively as possible. We will be looking to tap the strong local skill base at many levels to help build Sabina as a sustainable agricultural development.” said Elgin.
Elgin has qualifications in Finance and Management from Deakin University in Australia and the Australian National University.
Sabina is Citadel Capital’s Platform Company for investments in Sudan’s highly promising agriculture sector. Sabina holds Citadel Capital’s investment near Kosti, 3.5 hours South of Khartoum, where it has obtained a 99-year leasehold on an area of 254,770 feddans. The highly productive land with strong development potential has 38 kilometers of White Nile frontage, with full irrigation rights.
Citadel Capital is the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa. The firm focuses on building regional platform investments throughout the region in selected 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.)