FRANCE: The Danone Group enters the fresh dairy product market in Saudi Arabia
Franck Riboud, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DANONE Group and HRH Prince Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of AL-FAISALIAH Group Holding Co, as well as Mr. Mohammed Al-Ariefy, President of AL-FAISALIAH Group, signed today in Riyadh a partnership deal involving AL SAFI, one of the important leader in Fresh Dairy Products.AL SAFI achieved a 1.1 billion Francs turnover in 1999 (165 EUR millions). AL SAFI owns a fleet of more than 450 refrigerated trucks delivering directly to 18,000 retail outlets every day. The new company, which will be known as AL SAFI-DANONE, will be 50.1% owned by the DANONE Group and 49.9% by the AL-FAISALIAH Group, one of the most prestigious group in Saudi Arabia.The entire range will be sold under the combined names of both brands, AL SAFI-DANONE. The aim being to continue to boost the fresh dairy product market with the launch of new products."We pride ourselves for being able to build a trusted brand in our markets. Undoubtedly the new joint venture with DANONE Group gives us the advantage of having a major qualitative added value that would ultimately benefit our consumers," said HRH Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of AL-FAISALIAH Group.The partnership will extend not only to Saudi Arabia, but also to all Gulf countries, as well as the Yemen (i.e. a population of around 40 million). The Saudi Arabian market alone accounts for 20 million consumers, all with strong purchasing power, and 60% of the population is under 25 years old."This is certainly a major new step in the development of DANONE Group in this part of the world. Our wish is to be able to bring to AL SAFI all our skills and expertise to provide the youth of this country with the very best products," said Franck Riboud, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DANONE Group.The DANONE Group, which was already present in Saudi Arabia with the brands Lu, Evian and Volvic, is thus establishing its first industrial foothold in this part of the world.
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