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Advance Seed bought by international group

Advance Seed and its subsidiary Pouyoukas Foods has been purchased by Alliance Grain Traders Inc, a listed company on the Canadian stock exchange that operates a global agri-business in Canada, the US, Turkey, Australia and China.
The 100% controlling interest has been acquired from Euro-Africa Trading, a European based holding company and the Brian Lever Family Trust. The assets acquired include property, storage and related handling equipment and a processing plant for pulses, popcorn and grains and grass seeds and three warehouse and packaging plants operated by Advance Seed in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, supplying the wholesale and retail markets with a range of pulses, grains and popcorn. The Johannesburg processing facility, warehouse and packaging plants are currently operational. Advance Seed will continue to run with the existing management team and business in place.

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

"We have bought a company with established packaging contracts for major retailers and 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 the MD along with his management team, gives us established relationships in the agricultural sector in Africa built over Brian's decades-long career. We like the company'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."

African potential

"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 see excellent sales opportunities utilising our supply base from our international 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 truly global company in our industry," adds Huseyin Arslan, executive chairman of the board of directors of AGT.

"Our family and management team are very happy to be joining AGT. We have had a long-standing and growing relationship with the group for a number of years. Bringing these companies together allows us to grow our platform while at the same time giving the group 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, it is a natural fit for us. Our local reach complements its global reach, creating a strong player in Southern Africa for seed pulses and staple foods," concludes Lever.

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