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Saudi Olayan Said in Talks to Buy Gulf Union Stake From Jadwa

Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group is in talks to buy a majority stake in beverage maker Gulf Union Food Co. from Jadwa Investment Co., according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The potential acquisition by Olayan, one of the kingdom’s most prominent family owned firms and Credit Suisse Group AG’s largest shareholder, could be worth about 500 million riyals ($133 million), the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. While talks are at an advanced stage there’s not yet an agreement, according to the people.

Jadwa bought the stake in Riyadh-based Gulf Union, a juice and beverage maker, in 2010 for an undisclosed amount. The company exports to more than 20 countries and has brands including Original and Captain juices.

Private equity activity in the Gulf’s largest economy is accelerating. TPG Capital and Abraaj Group are seeking funding for the potential acquisition of Saudi fast-food chain Kudu, Bloomberg News reported on June 10.

Ashmore Group Plc is in exclusive talks with Jadwa Investment to sell its majority stake in a Saudi Arabian waste management company valued at as much as $350 million, three people with knowledge of the matter said in April.

Khaled Al Salem, a Riyadh-based spokesman at Jadwa, declined to comment on the talks, while no one was immediately available to comment at Olayan Group. An e-mail sent to a spokesman for Gulf Union was not immediately returned.

Olayan has interests in businesses ranging from manufacturing to services and distribution and an international portfolio of investments, according to information on its website. The firm has a 5.5 percent stake in Zurich-based Credit Suisse, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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