Source: Press TV
A Saudi food producer’s domination of the Iranian market for a basic staple is raising hackles in the Persian country, prompting the company’s local partners to deny rumors that it was linked to ISIL terrorists.
Savola Group has a controlling 80% stake in Behshahr Industrial Company.
Savola Group, Saudi Arabia's largest food producer, has a controlling 80% stake in Behshahr Industrial Company which accounts for 40% of the country’s edible oil market.
On Monday, the popular Iranian website Tabnak published what it called the “latest documents about the dominance of Saudi Sheikh Mamoun Faleh Saeed al-Dawood and his friends on the Iranian cooking oil market”.
Tabnak touched on a recent deterioration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying if Savola “fails to supply the Iranian market for political reasons or protecting its country’s interests ...we will face a deadend for this staple”.
The Saudi government is reportedly the second-largest single shareholder in Savola through a 10% stake held by a social-insurance board.
Savola acquired a holding of 49% in Iran’s Behshahr Industrial Company in 2004 before raising the stake to 80%.
The Saudi group, which also operates in Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Turkey, Morocco, Jordan and Kazakhstan, generates more than 15% of its revenues from business in Iran.
Rebranded as Savola Behshahr, the firm's revenues from Iran increased by almost a third to $1.17 billion in 2012, about 42% of its global edible oil sales.
On Sunday, CEO of Beshahr Industrial Company Morteza Dadash criticized media “aggrandizing of Saudi investors’ role in Iran’s cooking oil industry”.
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