First flour mills privatized in Saudi Arabia
Plans to privatize milling operations previously owned by the Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO), the state wheat purchaser, received government approval in 2011.
On July 8th, 2020, the National Centre for Privatization (NCP), a government agency, announced two flour-milling companies sold to a local/UAE consortia for a combined 2.8 billion SR ($740.5 million). Flour Mill One, in Jeddah, was sold to a consortium of Al Mutlaq Group, Al Safi. Abunayyan Holding with Essa Al Ghurair Investment (UAE), for 2 billion SR. Flour Mill Three, in Khamis Mushayt, was bought by a team of Al Rajhi (Saudi) and Al Ghurair Foods (UAE), for 750 million SR. SAGO will retain a monopoly on purchasing grain to produce state-subsidized flour, leaving the new owners earning only milling fees.
This deal signals that the financial crisis may be galvanizing the more comprehensive privatization program.
Source: The Economist