Middle East KFC operator picks banks for dual listing
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Middle East KFC operator picks banks for dual listing

Middle East KFC operator picks banks for dual listing

Americana operates restaurants for brands including Baskin Robbins, Costa Coffee and TGI Fridays as well as KFC and Pizza Hut, according to its website

KFC Operator

The operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants across the Middle East and North Africa has tapped banks to prepare for a dual listing in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi that could raise about $1bn, according to people familiar with the matter.

Americana Group, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and an investment vehicle led by Dubai-based businessman Mohamed Alabbar, has picked First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs Group and SNB Capital to work on an initial public offering that could take place as soon as this year, the people said.

The firm could seek a valuation of about $7bn to $8bn, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Rothschild & Co. is Americana’s financial adviser on the IPO and more banks are likely to be added in the coming months, they said.

Details on size and timing of the offering are still preliminary and subject to change. Representatives for First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild declined to comment, while Americana and SNB weren’t immediately available for comment.

A dual listing would make Americana the first firm to have shares traded in both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul has been encouraging firms for years to dual list and while none have yet done so, Bahrain’s biggest telecommunications firm is considering it.

If the listing goes ahead, Americana would join a growing pipeline of IPOs in the Middle East, which has so far escaped most of the turmoil scuppering deals elsewhere. High oil prices and international investor inflows have been a boon for the region, which is seeing an unprecedented IPO boom.

Saudi Arabia’s stock market is one of the best performers in the world this year, which has led to a slew of potential listings. Arabian Drilling Co. and Saudi Aramco’s refinery unit are among those planning share sales in the kingdom, Bloomberg News has reported.

Americana operates restaurants for brands including Baskin Robbins, Costa Coffee and TGI Fridays as well as KFC and Pizza Hut, according to its website. Its food division owns brands across frozen vegetables, snacks and convenience foods.

Alabbar’s Adeptio AD Investments SPC Ltd. bought the firm in 2016. The PIF took a 50 per cent stake in Adeptio at the end of that year and Americana subsequently delisted from the Kuwait stock exchange.

Read: Middle East KFC operator starts early talks over listing

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