(Reuters) – The Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Ukrainian farming company Mriya Agro Holding, and said it was looking to make further investments in Ukraine.
The cost of the purchase was not disclosed but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday said it ran into hundreds of millions of dollars.
The sale, and the earlier announcement by Swedish furniture retailer IKEA that it would open a store in Ukraine next year, was cheered by Poroshenko as evidence of growing foreign investor confidence in the country.
Ukraine has been battling to shake off an image of entrenched corruption that has long deterred foreign investors and held up the disbursement of billions of dollars worth of aid from the International Monetary Fund.
“The decision by SALIC to acquire “Mriya Agro holding” is really an extremely important event and demonstrates the willingness of foreign investors to invest in Ukraine, fundamental changes in the investment climate and the attitude of investors to our country,” Poroshenko said.
Mriya is one of Ukraine’s biggest farming companies. It defaulted on debt obligations of $1.1 billion in 2014 and was taken over by its creditors.