Dubai: The UAE based Agthia Group has purchased outright the water business of Delta Marketing Company, based in Jeddah and producing the “Al Ain” brand water in the kingdom. The transaction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2017, following regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

The acquisition enables Agthia to enter the Saudi market for the first time with its Al Ain water brand, “reflecting the Group’s strategy to expand in the GCC and become a region-wide player”, it said in a statement.

Delta’s water business is a cash-generating operation. The transaction also helps to fast-track Agthia’s objective of establishing a fully-fledged water production presence in Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia presents a very large market opportunity for us and the vehicle we have found to extend our presence there by producing Al Ain water locally allows us to take a critical step in our regional expansion,” said Dhafer Ayed Al Ahbabi, Agthia’s Chairman.

Agthia is pursuing a five-year strategy aimed at becoming one of the Middle East’s leading F&B companies, and is basing this around expanding its water business.

Earlier this year, Agthia entered into a joint venture in Kuwait to establish a water bottling plant, which is expected to be completed in 2017. Last year Agthia also acquired Al Bayan Water Company, a leading player in the 5 gallon bulk water segment in the UAE and with a presence in Oman.