Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Close to Buying Spinneys in Jordan

Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC said it’s close to buying the Spinneys supermarket chain in Jordan and is no longer interested in acquiring the retailer’s other businesses located outside the United Arab Emirates.

“It’s what makes more sense to us strategically,” Majid Al Futtaim Chief Executive Officer Iyad Malas said late yesterday in a telephone interview. “We’re pursuing Spinneys Jordan and not any other country.”

The company had considered acquiring Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group’s stake in the Spinneys franchise outside the U.A.E., Malas had said in May.

Majid Al Futtaim, based in Dubai and also known by its acronym MAF, is expanding across the Middle East, tapping the rising disposable income of the region’s growing population. The company in May bought Carrefour’s minority stake in Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets LLC for 530 million euros ($681 million). Malas said in May that the company would not buy Spinneys supermarkets that compete with its own stores.

Spinneys was founded in Alexandria in 1924 and acquired by Abraaj, the region’s biggest buyout firm, in 2004. The retailer has outlets in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Qatar and operates in the U.A.E. under franchise.

Malas also said that the company hasn’t completed the acquisition of the Metro supermarket chain in Egypt.

“There is still some discussions with the seller,” he said, declining to predict when the transaction would be concluded.

MAF Group Treasurer Daniele Vecchi said in May that the company may complete talks with Egypt’s Mansour Group on the acquisition in a “few weeks.”

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