Saudi Arabia’s largest food group Savola has been linked with a US$300m bid to acquire confectionery manufacturer and retailer Sannabel Al-Salam.

A report from news agency Reuters today (2 October) said sources had told it Jeddah-based food producer and distributor Savola is in talks with the Riyadh firm.

Savola, which owns supermarket chain Panda, manufactures and markets food, including sugar, oil and dairy products, throughout the Middle East, north Africa and Turkey.

Sannabel Al-Salam manufactures and sells products including Arabic sweets, cakes, pastries, chocolate and ice cream. It is owned jointly by Dubai-based NBK Capital Partners, the private-equity arm of National Bank of Kuwait and Dr Saleh Bin Nasser Al Farhan, who founded the company in 1995.

Savola reported a 96% fall in first-quarter net profit in May.

In 2016, Savola saw the sales and earnings from its food division decline amid an impairment on the Saudi Arabia-based group’s food manufacturing business in Egypt.

just-food’s attempt to verify Savola’s interest in acquiring Sannabel Al-Salam was unsuccessful.