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Kuwait’s Americana Still In Talks For Sale

Kuwait’s Americana Still In Talks For Sale

Americana, backed by Kuwait’s billionaire al-Kharafi family, operates franchises for restaurant chains around the region.

Talks are still underway with several parties for a sale of the business of Kuwait Food Co (Americana), the company’s biggest shareholder said on Thursday.

Americana, backed by Kuwait’s billionaire al-Kharafi family, operates franchises for restaurant chains including KFC and Pizza Hut around the region. Private equity funds KKR and CVC have been among the main contenders for the business in a lengthy bidding process that has also attracted interest from Saudi food producer Savola Group.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a sale was close to being put on hold, as talks were faltering partly because of differences on price, according to sources.

“Talks are still ongoing with several parties and we are still in the process of looking into our strategic options to evaluate our investments in Kuwait Food Co,” Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Co, an entity owned by the Kharafi family, said in a letter filed by Americana to the bourse.

The letter from Al Khair also said it had not received a binding offer to date.

Reuters reported in April last year that Americana was exploring a sale with investment bank Rothschild.

The Kharafi family own 66.8 per cent of Americana, according to Thomson Reuters data, through private investment company MAK (Mohammed Abdulmohsin al-Kharafi & Sons). Kuwait Food Co sells goods under the brand name Americana; the firm has a market value of KD1.09 billion ($3.72 billion).

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