Singapore agribusiness giant Olam International has acquired Egypt-based onion and herb business Dehydro Foods.

Olam said Dehydro is Egypt’s largest exporter of dehydrated onions and would add to its B2B ingredients business.

“This transaction is part of Olam’s strategic thrust to become the leading supply chain partner to its major global customers as the large food companies increasingly outsource their raw material and ingredient supply chain to reliable third-party suppliers who have a global sourcing and processing network,” Olam said.

The company, which paid US$30.8m for the business, also said Egypt’s trade deals with the EU gave it an advantage to other exporters of dehydrated vegetables. Egypt can also process onions “at more competitive costs”, Olam said.

Greg Estep, head of Olam’s spices and vegetable ingredients business, said Dehydro had potential for growth in Europe and further afield.

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By GlobalData

“Dehydro produces high quality dehydrates and its plants are accredited with key customers so we believe they have a strong franchise and a very strong potential for growth in exports into the Middle East, Europe, Brazil and Japan. It fits very well with our overall spices portfolio where we have a global market leading position,” he said.

This year, Olam has acquired a sugar refining business in Brazil and signed two ventures with US companies – with cocoa group Blommer Chocolate Co. and with agribusiness Lansing Trade Group on grains and oilseeds.

It has also expanded its consumer food business in Africa with acquisitions in Nigeria.

However, Olam has faced accusations its finances are in trouble. Investment firm Muddy Waters has said Olam is in continued “deluded denial” of its fiscal problems and has offered to pay for the firm to get its debt rated by Standard & Poor’s.

Olam has said Muddy Waters’ claims are “false and misleading”.