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Advance Seed taken over by Alliance Grain Traders

Alliance Grain Traders (AGT) has acquired 100% controlling interest in South Africa-based Advance Seed, and its subsidiary Pouyoukas Foods (collectively "Advance Seed") from Euro-Africa Trading, a European-based holding company and the Brian Lever Family Trust.
Advance Seed taken over by Alliance Grain TradersThe assets acquired include real property, storage and related handling equipment and a processing plant for pulses, popcorn and grains and grass seeds, as well as three warehouse and packaging plants operated by Advance Seed in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The Johannesburg processing facility as well as the warehouse and packaging plants are currently operational. Advance Seed will continue to be run with the existing management team and business in place.

Good local relationships an advantage

"Southern Africa is a key consumption region for our current range of products and Advance Seed has been our sales and distribution partner in South Africa for many years. This is an exciting acquisition for us as Advance Seed have strong existing relationships with regional producers and wholesalers of pulses and grains. They also distribute their products to the private label and branded retail sector in South Africa," said Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of AGT.

"We have bought a company with established packaging contracts for major retailers as well as marketing its own brands of microwave popcorn and pulses in retail stores in Southern Africa. Strong management under the leadership of Brian Lever, who will remain as our managing director along with his management team, gives us established relationships in the agricultural sector in Africa built over Brian's decades-long career. We like Advance Seed's focus on planting seed as a means to establish local grower relationships and their food platform makes us a player in this dynamic and growing production and consumption region," he said.

Focus will be staple foods

"AGT continues working to grow our geographic distribution and production platforms globally. Africa has excellent potential for local production of pulses and grains including dry beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas. Consumption in this region is strong and we also see excellent sales opportunities utilising our supply base from our North American, Australian, Chinese and Turkish assets. Our focus will be pulses, pasta and popcorn, all staple foods produced and consumed regionally. We now have production factories and storage in five continents making us a global company in our industry," added Huseyin Arslan, executive chairman of AGT.

Brian Lever, managing director of Advance Seed, said his family and management team are very happy to be joining AGT. "We have had a long-standing and growing relationship with AGT for a number of years. Bringing these companies together allows us to grow our platform while at the same time giving AGT a solid base from which to expand throughout the Southern Africa region. As a company involved in the agriculture business from seed distribution and agronomy with producers to distribution of packaged foods to retail and wholesale buyers, AGT is a natural fit for us. Our local reach complements AGT's reach globally, creating a strong player in Southern Africa for seed pulses and staple foods," he explained.

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