Salem Radio Network News Saturday, December 9, 2023

Business

Supermarket franchisee Spinneys Dubai plans IPO in 2024

By Hadeel Al Sayegh

(Reuters) – Spinneys Dubai LLC, the franchisee of the supermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is planning an initial public offering of the business in the second quarter of 2024, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Albwardy Investment, the franchise’s 100% owner, hired Rothschild & Co to advise on the planned IPO, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the plans are not public.

It invited banks this week to pitch for roles in the offering, expected to be up to 30% of the company, the sources added.

Spinneys, Albwardy and Rothschild did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The potential IPO of Spinneys Dubai, planned on the Dubai Financial Market, would add to the small but growing regional food retail sector.

Americana Restaurants, the Middle East and North Africa franchisee of fast food restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut, as well as a seller of frozen foods, debuted in a dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh in December.

Lulu Group, a hypermarket and mall operator, expects its IPO in the first half of 2024, its chairman said earlier this month, adding that it hired Moelis & Co to advise it, confirming an October 2022 Reuters report.

IPO activity in the Gulf is expected to pick up after the pace slowed from an exceptional 2022, when Saudi Arabia and the UAE led new listings, raising nearly $22 billion Рmore than half the total for the wider Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Dealogic data shows.

Middle Eastern companies still raised $5.3 billion in the first half of this year through 23 market debuts.

Spinneys Dubai operates more than 65 stores across the UAE, its website says. In addition, it operates at least seven stores in Oman, Albwardy’s website says.

Albwardy, which says it has annual turnover above $1 billion, also owns the franchise rights to upmarket British supermarket chain Waitrose.

Founded in the mid-1970s, it has a hospitality portfolio that includes several Four Seasons hotels and food distribution investments that include Nestle UAE.

Other sectors in Albwardy’s portfolio are industrial and engineering, commercial and insurance, agribusiness and properties.

(Writing by Yousef Saba; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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