U.S. $60 million investment made in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

Middle East & Africa/Corporate

U.S. $60 million investment made in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
King Abdullah Economic City, February 15th 2012: King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and MARS Saudi Arabia are excited to announce that Mars is breaking ground on its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. 

The facility, which will begin operating by 2014 producing GALAXY® and GALAXY JEWELS®, will be one of the largest chocolate factories in the GCC region. Mars Saudi Arabia has made an initial investment of U.S. $60 million with an additional U.S. $150 million planned over the next 10 years. The facility will be built to LEED Green Building standards and will initially employ 60 Mars associates on the project team with a further expected 300-400 associates once the factory is fully operational. 

“Our long terms partnership comes to further prove that King Abdullah Economic City has the ability to attract leading companies from diverse industries from across the globe, and we are pleased to have Mars Incorporated establish their presence at KAEC’s Industrial Valley as the world’s leading confectionery”. Mr. Fahd Al-Rasheed, Managing Director and CEO of KAEC commented.

He further added: “The Industrial Valley enjoys high quality services and facilities that come together to deliver an ideal industrial and operational hub however, the extraordinary Government support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has not gone unnoticed with the linking of KAEC to the Kingdom’s gas network, the commencement of Al Haramain Railway project in KAEC, linking Makkah and Madina via Jeddah and KAEC".

Mr. Ahmed Linjawy, President of Industry and City Services in KAEC added, MARS is one of the largest and most respected names in the confectionery industry. Their presence is another example of why leading international manufacturers would establish their new factories at the Industrial Valley in KAEC.”

He added “KAEC’s Industrial Valley introduces the best global standards in master planning to attract leading global and local tenants, whilst KAEC have thoroughly studied the needs of local players to ensure meeting their needs as well. All land plots at the Industrial Valley are fully serviced with electricity, water, sewage network; telecommunications services, paved roads and storm water drain system”. 

MARS Incorporated has been operating in Saudi Arabia for 30 years and contributed to the direct and indirect job creation of a thousand jobs to date. The company is excited by the prospect of investing more in Saudi Arabia over the longer term, creating opportunities for Saudi nationals, and in supporting community-based programs to benefit Saudis as the company has done in other parts of the GCC.  The business is especially keen to encourage Saudi women who want to work, and for whom Mars is an appropriate professional environment, to join Mars Saudi Arabia and grow professionally.

Mohamad Safieddine, General Manager at Mars Saudi Arabia said at the launch: “Developing and nurturing Saudi talent is an important priority for Mars.  We are going to invest in the Kingdom’s talented people through offering trainings, internships and partnerships with local educational establishments and by focusing opportunities for Saudi women in fields such as marketing, sales, finance, engineering, as well as research and development.”

- Ends –

King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC):

KAEC,  a New Age City being built today for tomorrow’s generation of Saudi citizens, has six components – sea port, industrial valley, educational zone, central business district with commercial, mixed-use, retail outlets and financial island, resorts and residential area.
The mega-project works closely with the Kingdom’s on-going drive to expand the economy create employment opportunities for its youthful population and function as a catalyst to attract foreign investment, global trade, commerce and industry. Based on initial forecasts, the project and its several components will create up to one million employment opportunities in the various industries and service-oriented companies that will open in KAEC. It will also be home to 2 million residents. 
About Mars Incorporated:

Mars Incorporated is the first multinational food company to invest in KAEC and as a major economical player it will develop a true commercial ecosystem.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company.  In the 1920’s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of  building a business based on the philosophy of a “mutuality of benefits” for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 65,000 Associates worldwide that are putting our Mars Principles in action to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFE SAVERS® mints.  Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYKO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA™, WISDOM PANEL™ and SERAMIS®.  For more information, please visit www.mars.com.  Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars.

The Mars Saudi Arabia (KSA) Factory
The new factory located in the industrial zone of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) will be the first factory for Mars in Saudi Arabia. Factory production is scheduled to commence in 2014.

Mars GCC growth plans were supported by Emaar Economic City (EEC) and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

Background: LEED Green Building standards
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System® is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. It provides building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. 

LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:

sustainable site development 
water efficiency 
energy efficiency 
materials selection 
indoor environmental quality 

Background: The Food sector in Saudi Arabia 
According to the US market research institute Business Monitor International (BMI), the outlook for Saudi Arabia’s food sector remains positive. Strong economic growth is expected in the near term, and Saudi Arabia’s population is growing at 2.5% per year and is expected to reach 29 million by 2015. Of this, 70% are under 30 year’s old, increasingly educated overseas and keen to satisfy a globalized palate. This has driven food imports from US$9.4 Billion in 2006 to almost US$ 20 Billion in 2009 according to Food, Hotel & Hospitality Arabia (FHHA). In line with this trend, per capita food consumption is expected to grow from current levels by 47.7% until 2016, with the confectionery sector expecting growth of 49.4%.
Accordingly, many companies have been increasing their investments in the Saudi market, which are both in response to and feeding this trend. 

For further information, please contact:
Suzanne Samaan
Media Relations Manager

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