Lebanon Businessnews News

Mikati group invests in Sudan
BSEC arranged for an equity acquisition deal
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Bemo Securitisation (BSEC) and Bemo Saudi Fransi Finance (BSFF) announced the acquisition last month by M1 Harvest of a minority stake in GLB Invest SAL, a Lebanese offshore company operating in the trade of agricultural raw materials. The deal was worth $16.5 million.

BSEC and BSFF acted as joint sell-side advisers to GLB Invest SAL and its founder Firas Badra. Established in 2011, GLB is developing a center-pivot irrigated alfalfa farm in North Sudan. The project is expected to be developed over five phases, ending by 2018.

Alfalfa is a nutrient-rich herb used to feed lactating cattle. The first phase of the project has already been completed and the first harvest is expected soon, with an anticipated production capacity, in 2014, to reach 40,000 metric tons to be sold primarily to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“We are very pleased with our alliance with M1 Group and we thank both BSFF and BSEC for having led this transaction successfully to the best interest of all parties”, said Firas Badra, Chairman of GLB Invest. Badra had declared in May 2013 during an investment conference in Khartoum that his investments in this project will reach $800 million by 2019.

M1 Harvest is a subsidiary of M1 Group, a diversified investment group based in Lebanon and owned by the Prime Minister Mikati’s family. M1 Group is active in telecom, real estate, banking, fashion and aviation, among other industries.

“Our investment in GLB was driven by the fact that Sudan is a prime destination for agricultural investments and alfalfa is a promising product. In addition, the reliability of the partners was a determining factor in our decision,” said Joe Issa-El-Khoury, Executive Director of M1 Group.

“In this deal, the BEMO Group has extended its frontiers to Africa and proven its M&A execution capabilities in an ambitious cross border transaction,” said Ronald Yazbeck, General Manager of BSEC. The Group will be searching for other expansion opportunities in Africa, including in the oil & gas sector.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Jan 24, 2014
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