$2.4 bil­lion agree­ment to take over Amer­i­cana

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

A con­sor­tium led by Dubai busi­ness­man Mo­hamed Alab­bar has agreed a deal worth $2.4 bil­lion to buy a ma­jor­ity stake in Kuwait Food Co (Amer­i­cana).

The com­pany owns the Mid­dle East fran­chise rights for fast food gi­ants KFC and Pizza Hut as well as a num­ber of con­sumer prod­ucts.

The deal will see the in­vest­ment group, named Adep­tio, ac­quire a 69 per cent stake in Amer­i­cana, which was owned by Kuwaiti fam­ily the Kharafis.

The stake had been on the mar­ket since early 2014, ac­cord­ing to a re­port on Reuters.

Adep­tio had agreed in Fe­bru­ary to buy the stake but the deal ini­tially col­lapsed at the end of May.

The shares are be­ing bought at 2.650 di­nars (Dhs32.26), 26 per cent higher than their last mar­ket price.

“We look for­ward to build­ing on Amer­i­cana’s suc­cess and tak­ing ad­van­tage of the growth po­ten­tial of the busi­ness go­ing for­ward,” said Alab­bar.

Once the pur­chase of the stake from the Khar­i­fis has been wrapped up, a manda­tory takeover of­fer will be made to the re­main­ing Amer­i­cana share­hold­ers at the same price, in keep­ing with Kuwaiti se­cu­ri­ties rules.

The deal was co-fi­nanced by a $1.5 bil­lion bridge loan from a num­ber of banks in­clud­ing Stan­dard Char­tered, Credit Suisse, Emi­rates NBD and First Gulf Bank.

Other fa­mous brands that come un­der the Amer­i­cana um­brella in­clude Hardee’s, Krispy Kreme, Costa Cof­fee and Baskin Rob­bins.

Other com­pa­nies that had shown in­ter­est in Amer­i­cana in­cluded Sin­ga­pore firm Te­masek Hold­ings, Saudi food maker Savola Group and pri­vate eq­uity funds CVC and KKR. The news of a deal be­ing reached will bring an end to months of spec­u­la­tion about the fu­ture of Amer­i­cana whose shares were sus­pended from trade on Thurs­day amidst talk of the takeover.

FIN­GER LICKIN’ GOOD: KFC in Abu Dhabi is just one of the out­lets owned by Amer­i­cana

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