BARRETOS, Brazil – The state-owned Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC) agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in Minerva SA, one of Brazil’s largest beef producers.

Under the terms of the agreement, SALIC will acquire 47.8 million new shares of Minerva at an issue price of R15.60 per share. The number of shares sold could rise to more than 99.7 million. Overall, Minerva expects to gain more than R1.5 billion ($374.3 million) from the sale, and believes the deal will provide the company better access to markets in the Middle East.

“The execution of the Investment Agreement is in line with the company’s investments plan, which is based upon the strategy of geographical diversification of its areas of operation, with focus on creating value for the shareholder, financial discipline and continuity of the process of reducing its leverage,” the company said in its announcement to investors. “In this perspective, with the investment to be injected by SALIC UK, the company will obtain a significant reduction of its net debt, the bolstering of its working capital and financing for its capital expenditures.”

SALIC was formed to improve Saudi Arabia’s food security by investing in livestock and agriculture interests around the world.