Dubai-based investment group, Adeptio, led by Emaar Properties’ chairman Mohamed Alabbar has paid $2.4 billion for a majority stake in Kuwaiti F&B operator Americana, Reuters reported.
Kuwait Food Company (Americana Group) manufactures food products and operates a network of 1,690 food and beverage outlets in the MENA region, including franchise operations of fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut.
The purchase has been made under a legally binding agreement with Al Khair National for Stock and Real Estate, controlled by wealthy Kuwaiti merchant family, the Kharafis.
Adeptio said that all of Al Khair’s Americana shares will be bought at 2.650 dinars each, which represents a 26% premium over their last market price.
The deal has been long-running, with the stake having been up for sale since early 2014. Al Khair previously offered a 69% stake in Americana.
Adeptio originally agreed in February to buy the stake, but that agreement collapsed at the end of May. Reuters reported last week that talks had restarted.
Adeptio will launch a mandatory takeover offer to remaining Americana shareholders after it completes the purchase of the stake from the Kharafis.
Alabbar commented: “We look forward to building on Americana’s success and taking advantage of the growth potential of the business going forward.”
To help finance its initial deal, Adeptio aimed to secure a $1.5 billion bridge loan from a group of banks including Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse, Emirates NBD and First Gulf Bank, said the Reuters report.
Sources familiar with the agreement said the same banks would be involved in financing any new deal.
Americana was founded in Kuwait in 1964 with the establishment of a small trading company, which opened its first restaurant (Wimpy) in 1970.
The first meat processing plant was established in 1972 to cater for the restaurants’ growing demand, and this was followed by more restaurants, food companies and brands.
Today, the group operates 1,690 restaurants with more than 35,000 employees across 17 countries.
The Americana Group operates international franchises Hardee’s, TGIF’s, Krispy Kreme, KFC and Pizza Hut.
The Americana Group’s portfolio also includes consumer foods, manufactured in 18 factories, in 5 countries, such as Americana Meat, Americana Cake, Farm Frites, California Garden, Heinz, Koki and Green Land.