Middle East KFC operator set for Abu Dhabi, Riyadh dual listing Middle East KFC operator set for Abu Dhabi, Riyadh dual listing
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Middle East KFC operator set for Abu Dhabi, Riyadh dual listing

Middle East KFC operator set for Abu Dhabi, Riyadh dual listing

Americana Restaurants International received approval to sell a 30 per cent stake, or 2.53 billion shares

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Americana Group, the operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants across the Middle East and North Africa, has kicked off what would be the first dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, joining a rush of companies looking to go public before year-end.

Americana Restaurants International, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and an investment vehicle led by Dubai-based businessman Mohamed Alabbar, received approval to sell a 30 per cent stake, or 2.53 billion shares, the kingdom’s Capital Market Authority said in a statement on Monday.

First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs Group and SNB Capital are working on the initial public offering, which could raise about $1bn and value Americana at as much as $8bn, Bloomberg reported in April.

Americana is set to be the first company to have shares traded in both Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, after the Tadawul exchange encouraged firms for years to dual list.

The firm is part of a late-year rush of IPOs in the Middle East even as markets worldwide are hit by inflation fears and the risk of an economic slowdown. A surge in oil prices at the start of 2022, as well as increased investor inflows, led to a flurry of listings in the Gulf, which notched up its best first half on record for stock-market debuts.

While a regional equities rally has since faltered and Saudi stocks briefly entered a bear market last month, IPOs have continued at a fast clip, with issuers looking to take advantage of strong demand for share sales. Last month, a Saudi Arabian oilfield-services company got enough orders for all shares on offer within hours, while Dubai’s road-toll operator drew $50bn in orders for its $1bn IPO.

Americana operates restaurants for brands including Baskin Robbins, Costa Coffee and TGI Fridays as well as KFC and Pizza Hut, according to its website. The frozen foods division is not being listed.

Alabbar’s Adeptio AD Investments SPC 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.

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