Brazilian meat group Minerva Foods has revealed the first investments under a new joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s state agricultural fund Salic.

Australia has been confirmed as the investment destination, as was outlined when Minerva and Salic – the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. – unveiled the plan in February having entered a non-binding agreement, which according to the Brazilian beef firm is in the “final phase of constitution”.

Sheep meat has been chosen as the category area, with the acquisition of Shark Lake Food Group Abattoir and Great Eastern Abattoir. The US$35m cash outlay includes the assets of both companies along with funds to improve the respective plants and for working capital, Minerva said in a statement.

Shark Lake is based in Monjingup, Esperance, in Western Australia and is engaged in slaughtering and meat packing. Family-owned Great Eastern, located in Tammin in the same region, also processes goat meat and exports to south-east Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Great Eastern works with partners in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Dubai, the UAE, Mauritius, Jordan, Qatar and Oman, according to its website.

Minerva said the transaction is subject to regulatory approval in Australia, and once the investment is completed, the abattoirs are expected to have a slaughter capacity of one million head a year.

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By GlobalData

The Brazilian firm also revealed a finer detail of the joint venture, which will be split 65% in Minerva’s favour.

Individual investments in each of the Australian businesses were not disclosed. Just Food is clarifying that aspect with Minerva and Salic, along with the ownership structure and markets served by Shark Lake.

Salic already had a stake in Minerva before the joint-venture deal was struck, dating back to 2015 when the fund acquired 19.95%. That was increased in stages to rest at 33.8% last year.

The Brazilian firm also announced a separate supply and distribution agreement in February where Minerva would supply its products to Salic to be sold in the Middle East and Asia.