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Dubai group buys majority stake in Kuwait’s Americana

KUWAIT: A Dubai-based investor group led by Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Al-Abbar has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Kuwait’s top food company Americana, the firm said yesterday. A binding agreement for the acquisition, estimated at $2.3 billion, was reached between Abbar’s Adeptio group and Al-Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate, a statement on Kuwait’s Stock Exchange said.

The new development comes three weeks after the two sides announced that takeover negotiations had collapsed. Al-Khair said in its statement that negotiations were reopened and the binding deal was signed on Saturday to buy the stake for KD 2.65 ($8.8) per share.

Based on the latest official figures, Al-Khair holds a 66.8 percent stake in Americana’s 391 million stocks worth around $2.3 billion. Under Kuwaiti law, Adeptio must make a similar offer to the holders of the remaining 33 percent of the company.

Established in 1964, Americana, or Kuwait Food Company, is the parent group that brought to the Middle East more than a dozen major food brands like Pizza Hut, KFC, Costa Coffee and TGI Friday’s.

It owns more than 1,690 outlets and employs 63,000 workers in the Middle East and North Africa region. It also has 17 factories in the region and abroad and produces a variety of food products.

Meanwhile, nutrition giant Americana’s shares resumed trading yesterday after the company’s clarification about the sale deal between Kuwait’s Al-Khair and Dubai’s Adeptio. The company’s shares received offers worth KD 2,200, but no offers and transactions were made. Both companies will be notified by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) about all necessary procedures in order to complete the transaction, the statement added. -Agencies

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