$2.4 billion agreement to take over Americana
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