Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

Ma’aden, the largest Saudi mining company, recently announced the acquisition of an African fertilizer distribution company, the Mauritius-based Meridian Group.
Updated 24 April 2019
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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.


360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

Updated 23 May 2019
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360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

The King Khalid Foundation (KKF) and Mowgli Mentoring have collaborated to strengthen the growing social enterprise sector in the Kingdom through the provision of 360-degree mentoring, which will support the personal and professional development of social entrepreneurs. The EMCC-accredited mentoring organization is working to built the capacity of Saudi mentors by instilling best mentoring practices and sharing experiences from its 10-year work around the world.

Globally, the concept of social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining momentum and positive attention as it combines commerce with social good, allowing entrepreneurs to go beyond profit to positively impact communities and societies. Supporting these entrepreneurs, therefore, is in line with the KKF’s vision, which is to have a Saudi society with equal opportunities.

The KKF’s collaboration with Mowgli resulted in the creation of the Athar (Impact) Mentoring Program.

This program aims to build and increase the capacity of Saudi mentors, and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to provide mentorship, support and guidance to social entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Matching mentors with social entrepreneurs and managing their mentorship relationships is a key benefit of the program.

To commence the mentoring program, Mowgli recently delivered a four-day workshop in the KKF premises in Riyadh. Fourteen professionals and business leaders received training to be 360-degree mentors before being matched with 14 social entrepreneurs. Both groups were provided with the guidelines to build solid foundations for their 1-2-1 mentoring relationships. In addition, the matched pairs will be supported over a duration of six months, during which structured on-going support will be provided to ensure that trust-based and impactful mentoring relationships are developed.

Mowgli Mentoring’s CEO Kathleen Bury said: “We see this program supporting the three themes on which the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 was built upon: Developing a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. By supporting social entrepreneurs, we’re working toward achieving the Kingdom’s economic aspirations of increasing SME GDP contribution by 20–30 percent by 2030. We are, therefore, excited to be back in Saudi Arabia and are honored to be working with the King Khalid Foundation in delivering this program, and building Saudi Arabia’s mentoring capacity to sustainably support change-makers and their surrounding ecosystems for years to come.”

The key to developing entrepreneurship and fostering economic development lies in having a well-balanced ecosystem with equal investment in four key pillars: Environment (schooling, parenting), finance (working capital, debt and equity financing), infrastructure (incubators, accelerators, utilities and sound legal frameworks) and human capital development (mentoring, skills and knowledge development). Mowgli supports the latter and has successfully delivered more than 110 mentoring programs across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.