Muscle Maker acquires Zambia farmland for $8.5M
Muscle Maker Inc said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sadot LLC has agreed to acquire agricultural land in Zambia for $8.5 million.
The 4,942 acres (2000 hectares) of producing agricultural land, along with buildings and related assets, is located within the Mkushi Farm Block of Zambia’s Region II agricultural zone.
The acquisition will help Sadot as it expands its position as an international agri-foods company.
The developed farmland can produce wheat, soy, and corn, which are Sadot’s main target commodities, along with other high-value tree crops such as Avocado and Mango.
“We have taken several successful steps in our shift to diversify our U.S.-centric restaurant business towards a more globally focused food organization,” said Muscle Maker CEO Michael Roper.
“The Farm acquisition, when closed, is expected to further accelerate our growth as a related diversified holding company and to provide MMI shareholders exposure to our enhanced and expanding portfolio.”
The company held $6.4 million in cash and equivalents as of March 31, 2023.
Baystreet | 22 May 2023
Baystreet | 22 May 2023
FORT WORTH, TX / ACCESSWIRE / May 22, 2023 / Muscle Maker, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRIL) ("MMI" or the "Company"), a global agricultural-commodity supply chain and emerging growth stage restaurant company, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sadot LLC ("Sadot"), has executed an agreement to purchase approximately 4,942 acres (2000 hectares) of producing agricultural land along with buildings and related assets located within the Mkushi Farm Block of Zambia's Region II agricultural zone (the "Farm"), the country's most productive farmlands, for $8.5 million USD.
Purchase of the Farm is expected to accrue multiple benefits to Sadot as it expands its position as an international agri-foods company. The Farm encompasses developed land that can produce wheat, soy and corn, which are Sadot's main target commodities, along with other high-value tree crops such as Avocado and Mango. In the initial stages, these products will be sold to local African markets with the goal of later integrating into Sadot's international trade, launching a new business vertical in the food supply chain strategy.
"Upon closing of the purchase of the Mkushi Farm, it is expected to continue to diversify MMI's holdings within the world's food and feed supply chain," stated Michael Roper, CEO of MMI. "We view Africa in general and specifically Zambia, as a region that presents numerous opportunities and we expect the purchase to help accelerate Sadot's growth within the agri-commodity space. The addition of Sadot to the MMI portfolio has been the key driver behind our recent growth. We have taken several successful steps in our shift to diversify our U.S.-centric restaurant business towards a more globally focused food organization. The Farm acquisition when closed is expected to further accelerate our growth as a related diversified holding company and to provide MMI shareholders exposure to our enhanced and expanding portfolio."
Sadot entered into a Joint Venture Shareholders Agreement pursuant to which the parties agreed to form a new entity to serve as a joint venture with respect to the operation of the Farm. The joint venture is expected to be named Sadot Enterprises Limited ("Sadot Zambia") with Sadot holding 70% of the equity and other joint venture partners holding 30% of the equity while continuing to operate the Farm.
The purchase is expected to improve access to global credit facilities allowing for larger agri-commodity trades and expanded margin. Previously, Sadot had made a $5 million USD deposit on undeveloped farmland in Africa. That deposit has been applied to this purchase agreement as part of the all-cash transaction. The completion of the acquisition is contingent upon final Zambian governmental approval.
About Muscle Maker, Inc. (MMI)
In late 2022, MMI began its evolution from a consumer-focused, U.S. restaurant business into a global, food-focused organization with two distinct business units:
MMIs largest operating unit is its newly-created subsidiary, Sadot LLC. Sadot is an international agri-foods company engaged in trading and shipping food (and feed) commodities such as soybean meal, wheat and corn. Sadot was formed in partnership with Aggia LLC FZ, a Dubai based, international consulting firm that provides services to companies operating in the global food supply chain.
MMI Restaurant Group
MMI's legacy business is our limited collection of 50+ restaurants, including Pokémoto Hawaiian Poké & Boba Tea and Muscle Maker Grill, and our subscription, fresh-prep meal service, Superfit Foods, with 30+ points of distribution plus in-home and national delivery. All three concepts compete in the growing healthier-for-you segment. National franchise development of the Pokémoto concept is the key growth driver with more than 45 franchise units already in the pipeline.