Abu Dhabi-listed food and drink group Agthia Group is looking into making more acquisitions to turn the company into one of the region's top players in the food and beverage industry, its chief executive has said.
After doing a number of deals already, Agthia has a "pipeline of ideas" for additional targets to strengthen its position at home and abroad.
"Certainly we want to be a big regional player in the F&B business and more in the consumer space, so we want to move into that branded space where we can start building master brands across the region," CEO Alan Smith said.
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Agthia's products include bottled water, dairy products and baked goods.
Smith did not rule out entering new markets, though he said that a number of factors would come into play, including whether the company could enter at a large enough scale.
He said that Agthia has had conversations with Israeli parties on potential cooperation, but no agreements have been finalised.
Smith also said that Agthia has some sub-scale assets that the company is currently reviewing.
In November, Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ, the corporate structure where Agthia sits, signed an agreement to acquire an indirect 45% stake in Louis Dreyfus Co., the first outside investment in the family-owned commodity merchant's 169-year-old history.
Smith said, "To be honest, the Dreyfus transaction is fairly recent and I think we have had some initial conversations just in terms of the commodities space. But at the moment there's no plans to have a conversation with them about [consumer packaged goods] products."
Strong Balance Sheet And Comfortable Debt Levels
Smith said Agithia, which reported a fall in net profit for 2020, had a strong balance sheet and was comfortable with its debt levels. It has no current plans to tap international debt markets, but may need to in the future, he said.
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