Two sources told Reuters that the Americana Group, the franchisee of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut, has hired investment bank Rothschild to advise on a potential initial public offering.
The two sources added that Americana, which is considering a public offering in the United Arab Emirates or in Saudi Arabia is expected to invite banks to play other important roles in the process in the coming weeks.
The two sources asked not to be named because the matter has not yet been announced.
Americana is owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and an investment consortium led by Emirati businessman Mohammed Alabbar, founder of Dubai-listed Emaar Properties.
Neither Americana nor Alabbar responded to a request for comment when they were contacted by Reuters on Wednesday. The Rothschild Bank also declined to comment.
The two sources said shareholders could also consider a double listing on the two exchanges.
Alabbar’s Adeptio unit acquired Americana in 2016. Saudi Public Investment Fund acquired a 50% stake in Adeptio in the same year.
In 2019, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) entered into an agreement to strengthen joint cooperation and double listing in the financial markets of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The value of the American group amounted to 3.5 billion dollars in 2017, when it was canceled from the Kuwait stock exchange.
Established in Kuwait in 1964, Americana operates 1,800 restaurants in the whole region, according to its website web. The company operates brand franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardee’s, Krispy Kreme, among others.
Gulf institutions have picked up quest$ 3.5 billion from initial public offerings, according to Refinitiv data, outstripping proceeds from the offering of new European shares, despite continued volatility in global markets in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Gulf markets are closely tied to oil prices, as Brent crude is currently trading above $ 100 a barrel.
Saudi market index rose 17% quest’year so far, while Abu Dhabi’s main index has risen by more than 18% and Dubai by more than 9%.
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