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.


Role of Indian engineers in KSA lauded at IEF meet

Updated 17 July 2019
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Role of Indian engineers in KSA lauded at IEF meet

Indian Engineers Forum (IEF) Jeddah Chapter recently held its 13th annual general meeting at Hotel Ramada Continental.

Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed graced the event as chief guest and Consul General of India Noor Rahman Sheikh was guest of honor. IEF President Mohammed Sayeeduddin presided over the function.

Expressing appreciation for the activities of the forum, Ambassador Dr. Sayeed recalled its foundation in 2016 during his tenure as consul general of India in Jeddah.

He lauded Sayeeduddin, Amir Khan, Shuja Sheriff and other members and engineers for the activities of the forum and their contribution to the development of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Sayeed highlighted scarcity of water as an acute problem in the world in general and in India in particular. He shared his experience of interacting with engineers in the US, who developed a water condensation machine to extract water from humid air.

Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh applauded IEF for its services to the engineering community in Saudi Arabia. He highlighted how the excellence of Indian engineers in each sector has impacted society. 

“Our zeal to be the best in whatever we do was demonstrated during last year’s Hajj. The mobile app developed by the Consul General of India is going to help the 200,000 pilgrims expected to come this year,” he said.

Amir Khan, founder and chairman of IEF, said IEF provides a platform for networking, career advancement, community service, and technology exchange. He urged Indian engineers to play a vital role in the development of Saudi Arabia, which he said would help strengthen the relations between India and the Kingdom.

Sayeeduddin thanked Dr. Sayeed for his support in the foundation of IEF. He announced that, having served as founding president for the last 13 years, he is now stepping down and the new president, unanimously elected, will be Khan Mustafa.

Nadeem Ahmed Ali, executive member of IEF, delivered a presentation on digital disruption.

Syed Nasir Khursheed, IEF general secretary, conducted the program.

Indian real estate advisory firm/ institutional channel partner 360 Realtors LLP participated in the event and were the main sponsors. A presentation covering major construction, residential and commercial projects in India was made by S. K. Vivek Kumar, head of international sales, 360 Realtors. Amit Hariyal also delivered a presentation on residential projects across the Indian cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. 

Abdul Rahman, general manager of TA Infra Projects, expressed happiness to be part of the IEF.

Khader Memon made a presentation titled “Special Investment Plan.”

The chief guest, guest of honor and sponsors were presented mementoes as a token of appreciation by the IEF president and executive committee. This was followed by the release of the annual magazine of the forum, Spectrum 2019, edited by Muazzam Sayeed.

A lively session of quiz was conducted by Munnawar Amafh. 

The event was attended by a number of guests from across the Kingdom, including Abdul Haseeb Hazari, Danish Ghafoor, Siadat Ali Khan, Shameem Kausar and Ahmed Omais.

The program started with a recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Talha Khan. Ashraf Nawaz Qureshi, IEF treasurer, welcomed the guests.

IEF Vice President Abu Bakar Sherkhan introduced the chief guest while Mohammed Shoebuddin, IEF chief coordinator, presented a vote of thanks.