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PIF unit buys $339m stake in Brazilian food processor

Poultry Saudi Arabia Eric Lafforgue/Hans Lucas via Reuters
A poultry market in Najran, Saudi Arabia. Poultry is a key commodity in the kingdom

A subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested in Brazilian food processor BRF as part of its drive to boost food security in the kingdom.

Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (Salic) has acquired 180 million equity shares in BRF, representing 10.7 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, for SAR1.27 billion ($338.77 million).

The move will provide a sustainable supply of essential food commodities to the Arab world’s largest economy.

Poultry is a key commodity in the kingdom, given the rapid population growth and the relatively high consumption, averaging 43 kilogrammes per capita annually. The country’s target is to continue increasing poultry self-sufficiency.

Salic said that the investment in BRF enables the local agri-food sector to tackle current challenges across the value chain and will reduce supply and price fluctuations in the local market.

BRF is the second-largest halal products company globally, with an annual production capacity of over five million tonnes of diversified products.  

The PIF subsidiary entered a partnership in 2016 with Minerva Foods, a Brazilian red meat producer, and recently acquired a 42.4 percent stake in Naqua, Saudi Arabia’s largest aquaculture firm.