Reuters

BEIRUT: Qatari company Baladna Food Industries will launch an initial public offering this month that could raise 1.426 billion riyals ($392 million).

The company flew in thousands of Holstein cows after the blockade in 2017 and Baladna’s rapid expansion since then has helped Qatar achieve self-sufficiency in dairy products that it previously mostly used to import.

Incorporated in 2014, Baladna is now Qatar’s largest dairy and beverage company, and its herd of cows has grown to approximately 18,000, housed in two farms spread over a total area of more than 2 million square meters.

In the IPO, the company plans to sell 75% of its share capital on the local stock exchange and proceeds will be used to strengthen the company’s balance sheet, it said in a statement. Strategic investors including the General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority and local food companies have committed to buying 23%, while the Qatari public will have access to the remaining 52%, according to the statement.

“BFI already enjoys an unparalleled position in Qatar as a market leader with growing exports and increasing economies of scale,” Chief Executive Officer Kamel Abdallah said.

“We look forward to continued growth as Baladna leads the way towards real sustainability for Qatar as part of the Qatar National Food Security Programme,” Abdallah said.

Baladna has over the past year expanded beyond dairy into juice production and shipped out its first exports, to Afghanistan, Yemen, and Oman.

Baladna’s IPO opens for subscription on October 27 and closes on November 7, the statement said.

(with inputs from Bloomberg)

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