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Just Falafel Says Not Planning IPO in Next Few Months

Just Falafel, the United Arab Emirates fast-food chain with more than 50 restaurants, said it has no immediate plans for an initial public offering, after the company hired financial advisers for a potential sale last year.

“Just Falafel has no immediate plans to IPO in the next few months,” Sarah Cocker, the Dubai-based company’s head of investor relations, said in an e-mailed response to questions today from Bloomberg News. “It is a huge responsibility to bring a company to market and one that we take very seriously.”

The vegetarian restaurant chain, which plans 160 new outlets in North America during the next five years, was weighing the sale of a 25 percent stake in an IPO on the NasdaqDubai exchange, two people with knowledge of the matter said Sept. 17. The company hired Dubai boutique advisory firm HK Advisory Services Ltd. to manage the potential listing and had sought to conduct it by year’s-end, the people said.

The fast-food chain replaced HK Advisory with Dubai investment bank Arqaam Capital Ltd. late last year, Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper reported in October, citing a person with knowledge of the deal which it didn’t identify.

A spokesman for Dubai-based Arqaam declined to comment.

Just Falafel isn’t the only company in the region to put IPO plans on hold. Senaat, which owns Abu Dhabi companies including National Petroleum Construction Co. and Emirates Steel, delayed plans for a share sale after the Abu Dhabi Executive Council declined to approve the proposals, two people with knowledge of the matter said in March.

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