AS&H in co-operation with Clifford Chance advises on US$200 million acquisition of third flour mill in Saudi Arabia as part of privatisation drive

Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in co-operation with Clifford Chance advised a consortium comprising Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Holding Group and the UAE's Al Ghurair Foods LLC on its US$200 million (SAR750 million) acquisition of the Third Milling Company from Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO) as part of the privatisation of the flour milling sector in Saudi Arabia.

The long-awaited flour mill sale was one of Kingdom's first successful sales of state-owned assets as part of its broader Vision 2030 strategy to transform and diversify its economy away from oil. Together with the First Milling Company which was sold to the Raha AlSafi consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Al-Mutlaq Group, the Third Milling Company reached financial close on 31 December 2020. Both sales represent a significant milestone in the Kingdom’s use of the private sector to build and operate public assets by way of “public private partnership” (PPP).

The team was led by partners Daniel Royle and Mohamed Hamra-Krouha with support from Senior Associate Ali Moiz Ansari and Associates Mohammed Al-Esheikh, Adnan Syed, Mohammed Ghazzawi, Haya Al-Rowaita, Ghada Al-Mazyad, Rawaf Al-Arifi, Abdullah Al-Huwayshan, Naif Al-Shaikh, Aljawharah Al-Sadoun and Abdulwahab Al-Qahtani in Riyadh as well as Associate Arman Ghafarokhi and trainee Sarah Barrie in Dubai. 

Yasser Al-Hussain, Head of Banking & Finance in Riyadh comments: “We are honoured to have advised the consortium on this milestone project which helps to validate the interests of foreign strategic investors in Saudi Arabia. It was an innovative and multi-faceted transaction for which our Saudi and UAE teams worked seamlessly in order to reach financial close expeditiously.”

AS&H in cooperation with Clifford Chance also recently advised Riyadh’s airport (KKIA) on the procurement of their cargo terminal concession to SATS, the Singapore airport services company and Al Rajhi Bank on the US$69 million (SAR258 million) Islamic debt facility in relation to the Taif independent sewage treatment plant (ISTP) in Mecca Province. The team is also advising the Ministry of Health on its privatisation initiatives including the privatisation of the Dialysis services as well as the procurement of the Alansar Hospital BOT project.