In brief

August 2014

Hitz acquires Dubai firm

HITACHI Zosen Corporate (Hitz), a Japanese engineering heavy-weight, has acquired Dubai-based electrochemical company Cumberland in line with its regional expansion strategy.

The first merger in the sector to see a Japanese firm acquire a Middle Eastern company will provide Hitz with direct access to the European and Mena regions, whilst Cumberland will benefit from the wider product portfolio of Hitz and enhanced financial resources.

Cumberland will continue operations from its headquarters in Dubai and from its engineering, sales and technical support offices in the UK, Singapore and India.


Aujan takes majority stake

AUJAN Coca-Cola Beverages Company (ACCBC), a venture between Coca-Cola Co and Saudi Arabia’s Aujan Industries, said it has acquired a majority stake in National Beverage Co, a maker and distributor of Coca-Cola and other drinks in Lebanon.

ACCBC bought the stake from Lebanon’s Transmed, a consumer products distributor, which will continue to own part of National Beverage Co.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.


Power plants coming up

THREE major power plants costing BD280 million ($738 million) will be constructed Bahrain.

The planned 400-220 kV plants will be built in the Hidd, Umm Al Hassam and Riffa districts, Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs Dr Abdulhussain Mirza said.

The project will be the first to be financed by Kuwait under the GCC Development Programme.


New Workz facility in Dubai

WORKZ, a secure printing and services provider, has officially launched its new Dubai scratch card printing facility which can provide clients with high volumes of scratch card products within fast production timeframes.

The custom-built 16-station flexographic printing press converts blank paper to finished cards in just two and a half minutes, said a statement.


EGA deal gains Guinea nod

GUINEA’S parliament has approved amendments in a deal with Emirates Global Aluminium which will see the start of bauxite production in 2017 and the construction of an alumina refinery that will have annual capacity of two million tonnes from 2018.

Adoption of the amendments clears the path for the project after the West African nation and Abu Dhabi state-owned investment fund Mubadala signed a $5 billion agreement in November to develop a bauxite mine and an alumina refinery in minerals-rich Guinea.


Aldes quality recognised

ALDES Middle East, a global solutions provider for fire protection, ventilation and air distribution and the local arm of the Aldes Group, has received certification from the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) for its pressure independent (PI) VAV boxes.

The certification is a voluntary programme that tests and certifies the performance of HVACR and water heating equipment, said a statement.


Keen interest in Americana

PRIVATE-equity firms KKR & Co LP and TPG Capital are among the groups looking to buy a majority stake in food retailer Kuwait Food Co SAK, better known as Americana. At least six groups were considering bidding for the stake held by the Kuwait-based billionaire Al Kharafi family.

A deal could value the company at about $5 billion. The Al Kharafi family owns 66.8 per cent of Americana through its private investment company MAK (Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al Kharafi & Sons).


Olayan buys stake in GUFC

SAUDI Arabia-based Olayan Financing Co (OFC) has said it has acquired a majority stake in Gulf Union Foods Co (GUFC) from a group of investors including private equity firm Jadwa Investment.

No purchase price for the 51 per cent stake was given in the statement, nor the identities of the other investors selling their holdings in GUFC, which was described as one of the leading players by market share in the Gulf’s juice manufacturing business.

Jadwa is divesting its entire 30 per cent stake.

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