Shaker Group rolls out ‘Breakthrough Program’

The headquarters in Riyadh of Shaker Group, a Saudi importer, manufacturer and distributor of air conditioners and home appliances.
Updated 04 February 2019

Shaker Group rolls out ‘Breakthrough Program’

Shaker Group, a Saudi importer, manufacturer and distributor of air conditioners and home appliances, has announced the launch of its “Breakthrough Program,” a transformation plan to be implemented during 2019 and 2020. 

The “Breakthrough Program” has four pillars for improving performance. The first pillar, Core Business Turnaround (CBT), will focus on achieving profitable sales while delivering excellence in cost management. The second pillar, Talent Upgrade Plan (TUP), seeks to attract and develop talent at the company while improving organizational structure and rationalizing headcount. The third pillar, Performance Infrastructure (PI), will see improvements to the processes and architecture of the business, as well as enhancing reporting methods; while the final pillar, Strategic Moves (STR), will see strengthening of relationships with principals and business partners and exploration of opportunities beyond core operations, to ensure an unparalleled value proposition to customers. 

Azzam Saud Almudaiheem, chief executive officer of Shaker Group, said: “While we have faced pressure on sales revenues as a result of market challenges including increased competition, a lackluster construction sector and unfavorable seasonality, we are very pleased to be formally rolling out our Breakthrough Program, having already realized recent success in efforts to reduce operating expenses and improve efficiencies. We are confident of the positive impact we expect to see from them and I am pleased to say that our staff are fully engaged in support of the program for turning our business around.”

He added: “While we have experienced difficult years in a challenging market, the Breakthrough Program shows that we are addressing these issues head-on to achieve improved performance. We are bullish that the market for AC and home appliances shows long-term promise, which we intend to actively exploit.”

Mohammed Ibrahim Abunayyan, chief strategies and transformation officer at Shaker Group, said: “We are proud to unveil the Shaker Group Breakthrough Program, the development of which has been a key focus area for management. While the program extends through 2020, we are optimistic that material improvements in performance will be delivered.”

Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

Updated 24 April 2019

Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

The acquisition of an African fertilizer distribution company by Ma’aden, the largest Saudi mining company, will advance Ma’aden’s Strategy 2025, which includes plans to expand operations in the Kingdom and grow sales globally. The acquisition will also support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the economy, increase non-oil exports, boost the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP, and reinforce the mining sector as the third pillar of Saudi industry, after oil and gas and petrochemicals. 

Ma’aden will make its first international acquisition with the purchase of the Mauritius-based Meridian Group, which is due to be completed by September for an undisclosed fee.

The publicly-listed Saudi mining company will acquire an 85 percent stake in the company in an all-cash deal that will provide one of the Middle East’s largest phosphate producers with 3,000 staff and a network of operations across southern Africa, from Malawi to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Phosphate is used to produce fertilizer that is essential in replacing the phosphorous mineral that is removed from soil when agricultural crops are harvested. 

“This acquisition marks a very important step in Ma’aden’s strategy to build global distribution channels for our fertilizer products,” said Darren Davis, president and chief executive of Ma’aden. “As we continue to build one of the largest producers and exporters of phosphate fertilizers in the world, ensuring an efficient route to key growth markets is critical to our success.” 

Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries. As a sector, it can therefore contribute to major continental priorities, such as eradicating poverty and hunger. The agri industry can also boost intra-Africa trade and investments, rapid industrialization and economic diversification, sustainable resource and environmental management, and create jobs, human security and shared prosperity.

The Southeast African market, like most of the African continent of 1 billion people, is experiencing increased demand for phosphate fertilizers which industry analysts expect to continue growing by 5 percent annually over the next decade, fueled by population growth and increasing education in the use of fertilizers.

“Ma’aden is acquiring unparalleled access to complementary distribution, blending and product-development capabilities in this fast-growth region,” said Hassan Al-Ali, Ma’aden’s senior vice president for phosphate. “This transaction will provide us with logistics advantages in Southeast Africa, and greater knowledge of on-the-ground customer requirements, both of which will be instrumental in better serving our customers.”

The Saudi global mining giant will secure the remaining 15 percent of Meridian’s equity over four years on agreed terms linked to the performance of the African company, which distributes approximately half-a-million tons of fertilizer through its network of granulation and blending plants, warehousing complexes and port facilities. 

HSBC acted as Ma’aden’s financial adviser on the deal and Baker McKenzie was the Saudi company’s legal adviser for this acquisition.