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DSEI 2021: SAMI continuing to target M&A, increasing localisation

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) will continue to target acquisitions of companies in the Kingdom, as the company carries on with moving collaboration agreements with international primes through to joint ventures.

“We have clear strategy of what's required in SAMI, [and] what capabilities need to be achieved, because we are looking at the whole Saudi defence industry. We want to make sure, as a national defence champion, that we can have synergies and efficiencies in the defence industry,” SAMI CEO Walid Abukhaled told Janes at the DSEI trade show in London on 14 September.

The company's acquisition of AEC in late 2020 was “definitely not the last acquisition in our plan”, according to Abukhaled.

The company is also considering international opportunities. “We need to make sure if we acquire something that there is a value-add to the Kingdom and also to overall SAMI capability, to support our customers in Saudi Arabia and the region. We're open to that, and we do explore opportunities outside the Kingdom,” Abukhaled said.

The company is also in the process of transitioning some of its previously signed memoranda of understanding with foreign companies into joint ventures (JVs), as programmes mature into contracts. This includes a JV with Thales and a JV with John Cockerill, known as SAMI CMI Defence, that is developing remote weapon stations (RWSs) and turrets. The latter will develop and manufacture RWS and turrets for vehicles in the Kingdom for use by the country's defence and security forces.

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