SCPE backs Jordanian poultry and chicken feed producer

Standard Chartered’s PE arm has now made five investments in the MENA region

Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), the buyout arm of global banking corporation Standard Chartered, has made a $35 million equity investment to acquire a minority stake in Al Jazeera Agricultural Company, a poultry and chicken feed producer and distributor in Jordan.

This investment is SCPE’s first in the Middle East and North Africa food and agriculture sector, its first in Jordan and its fifth investment overall in the region, according to a statement from the firm. SCPE did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

Al Jazeera’s main products include fresh and frozen chicken – supplied both to retail consumers and wholesalers – parent and broiler hatching eggs and chicks, and chicken feed. The investment will give SCPE two board seats, which will be taken by Taimoor Labib, SCPE’s regional head of MENA private equity and head of global private equity portfolio management, and Tariq Baareh, an associate director in the private equity division.

Al Jazeera’s chairman, Omar Al Husaini, said that the partnership with SCPE will help the company to become a “regional player in the poultry sector,” and its investment and expertise will be a “cornerstone” of Al Jazeera’s expansionary plans both within Jordan and across the Gulf Cooperation Council markets.

Al Jazeera was advised throughout the transaction process by Jordan-based regional investment banking firm Ithmar Invest.

SCPE, which focuses on companies with principal operations and management located in Asia, Africa or the Middle East, said in a statement that it is “actively seeking” investment opportunities across the Middle East, and that it is committed to investing in successful MENA businesses across sectors. Since it was established in 2002, SCPE has invested around $6 billion in more than 100 companies.

Last month SCPE agreed to invest $75 million of equity to secure a minority stake in Dubai-based Topaz Energy and Marine, an oilfield services company that provides marine solutions to the oil and gas sector. In August 2011 the firm acquired a minority stake in Saudi building materials group Construction Products for $75 million.