Savola Group in talks with American Group for possible stake
Savola Group, a Saudi Arabian food producer, has held discussions with Kuwait Foods, also known as the Americana Group, to buy a stake in the company, it said yesterday.
The talks have not yet led to a “fundamental development”, but the two companies have signed a disclosure agreement, Savola said.
Americana, which owns exclusive rights to franchise KFC and Pizza Hut across the Middle East, has been seeking a private-equity suitor to buy a 66.8 stake in the business.
In April, Reuters reported that Americana had hired Rothschild to run the sale.
There is likely to be a further round of bidding, with three private equity groups having made offers for the business. Bloomberg reported that Americana was likely to fetch more than US$4 billion from buyers.
Advent International and TPG Capital have entered the first round of bidding for Americana, while KKR and CVC Capital Partners have made a joint bid, Bloomberg reported yesterday.
Americana recorded profits of $64 million on revenues of $814.1m in the first quarter.
Last year, the company earned profits of $178.9m from revenues of $3.06bn.
Americana’s shares, which are traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, gained 2.58 per cent on the news – but trading in the company’s shares was suspended after the disclosure.
Americana’s stock price has gained 26.19 per cent since the beginning of the year, and has outperformed the Kuwait Stock Exchange by 30.7 per cent.
The company, which was founded in 1964, has more than 1480 stores, and operates 17 factories, across the Middle East and North Africa.
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