Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. has extended its reach into food with an undisclosed stake in Egypt-based Wadi Poultry.
Tokyo-headquartered Mitsui said it has concluded an agreement with Wadi and its “related subsidiaries” for the “share acquisition” but did not reveal the financial terms nor the size of the investment interest.
Giza-based Wadi Poultry, part of the Wadi Group holding company, operates in three segments covering food production and the agri-sector, poultry processing and breeding, and animal feed.
Mazereh is the operation for food manufacturing and agri-food housing Wadi Food and Rula Farms. The food portfolio features olive oils and olives, pickles, pastes and vinegar.
Breeding and chicken farming is conducted by the Dawagen unit and animal feed comes under the Sina’at division.
“After the share acquisition, its [Wadi Poultry] holding company will become an associated company of Mitsui,” the Japanese business said in a statement.
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The food-to-chemicals conglomerate explained the rationale behind the transaction: “Chicken meat has the highest feed efficiency of any animal protein. There are few religious constraints on its consumption, and it can be supplied at a relatively affordable price.
“For these reasons, chicken is expected to contribute to the sustainable growth of emerging economies, where demand is expected to rise in step with population and economic growth.”
Mitsui and its subsidiary Prifoods Co. have been “developing an integrated production business covering all stages from feed grain procurement to broiler production and processing, meat packing, and food manufacturing and distribution, especially in Japan and other Asian countries”, according to the statement.
A number of food investments have been initiated in recent years by Mitsui, which earlier in 2023 took an undisclosed interest in Italy rice supplier Euricom. In 2021, the company also bought a majority stake in frozen desserts maker Goyo Foods in Japan and in 2019 invested in Vietnam seafood business Minh Phu.
A year earlier, it took an interest in Zalar Holding, which Mitsui said is the “biggest broiler business in Morocco and Senegal”.
With the Wadi Poultry investment, Mitsui said it aims to “expand the added-value of its food and nutrition business cluster”.
Wadi Group put up a brief statement on its website acknowledging the deal.
“The aim of this investment is to expand Wadi’s agri-business locally in Egypt and for export, Egypt being one of the largest and fast-growing markets in Africa in terms of population,” it said.
The group generates revenue of $350m and employs 2,600 people, according to the website.
Mitsui, meanwhile, reported group revenue of Y14.3trln ($95.5bn) in the year to 31 March and profit attributable to shareholders of Y1.13trln.