Greek food group Vivartia is to move into the Middle East with a venture in Saudi Arabia.

The dairy-to-snacks foods group has signed a deal with Western Bakeries, a leading bakery group in the Gulf, and Saudi conglomerate Olayan Financing Company (OFC).

Vivartia CEO Spyridon Theodoropoulos said the venture, in which the company will take a minority stake, is in line with the company's strategy to expand its bakery and confectionery business outside Europe.

"The selection of the local partners was based on their knowledge of the specific market, their extensive distribution network and our prior collaboration with OFC which has been a strategic partner with the bakery and confectionary division for quite some time," Theodoropoulos said.

"This investment is of heightened importance as it signals Vivartia's entry into the Gulf Region countries.

The venture will be based in Saudi Arabia with a production facility slated to be up and running in the city of Jeddah next year.

Western Bakeries will hold a 60% stake in the venture with Vivartia holding a 25% shareholding. The remaining 15% of shares will be held by OFC. The Saudi conglomerate is already a shareholder in Vivartia.