Serbia's anti-trust regulator said it has cleared plans by UAE-based Al Dahra International Investment to take over from Serbia's Rudnap Group a 51% stake in Belgrade-based agriculture company Rudnap Agrar.
African countries that missed out on Gulf cash pouring into agricultural projects elsewhere on the continent are trying to entice Arab investors with deals they say are designed to avoid problems of the past.
Rachat de la JAT, devenue Air Serbia, par Etihad, investissements massifs de la compagnie Al-Dahra en Voïvodine : les Émirats arabes unis sont en passe de devenir le premier investisseur étranger en Serbie. D’où vient un tel emballement ?
Al Dahra Agriculture, a private-sector partner of the UAE Government in securing key food staples, is targeting investments in coffee and sugar plantations in Brazil, Colombia and Chile, said the company's vice chairman.
Abu Dhabi-based firm Al-Dahra agreed to invest $ 400 million to buy eight Serbian farm companies and develop them to grow and process food and fodder for export, in the biggest investment in Serbian agriculture for decades.
"The UAE is looking not just at land [acquisitions] but developing the whole supply chain," says Nicholas Lodge, managing partner at Clarity, a consultancy that advises on investments in agricultural industries.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will become a majority owner of eight Serbian agriculture corporations that own 9,000 hectares of land and will lease an additional 14,000 hectares of arable land in Serbia for EUR 250 per hectare per year.