News: Greece-based dairy group Vivartia will enter a joint venture (JV) with UAE-based Exeed Industries to expand its presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The new JV will construct a EUR70mn (US$90.0mn) production base in Abu Dhabi, which is set to start in early-2013. Through the JV, the companies aim to establish a business in the UAE with sales of more than EUR165mn (US$212.2mn) per year. Under the deal, Exeed will take over all of Vivartia's products, including Delta, Barba Stathis and Chrysi Zymi and foodservice brands, like Goody's and Everest.
BMI View: At the centre of expansion has been the dairy industry, which now ranks among the world's most competitive. Per capita consumption of dairy products is high, around 80-85kg annually, and this profitable sector is extremely vibrant and competitive, with many dairies in operation. Competition within dairies is rife across the Gulf region, with a number of large companies in the market. Dairy producers and manufacturers are now being encouraged to establish a union in order to set unified policies and cooperate in forming a strategy in the face of international competition.