• Patchi has also hired Dubai's deNovo to advise on the process
  • Sale process isn't expected to start until later this year

Lebanese luxury chocolatier Patchi is preparing for a potential sale and has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Dubai-based deNovo Corporate Advisors, people familiar with the matter said.

A sale process may start later this year and would follow a restructuring of the company’s business, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. No final decisions have been made and Patchi may decide against a deal, they said.

Representatives for Goldman Sachs and deNovo declined to comment.

Patchi said “it is not unusual for a group of the size and geographical footprint of Patchi to often work, in its normal course of business, with different advisers,” in an e-mailed statement. The company said it doesn’t comment on rumors.

Interest in food and beverage companies in the Middle East is picking up as investors look for industries immune from the slump in oil prices and declines in government spending. A group of investors led by Emaar Properties PJSC chairman Mohamed Alabbar is seeking to acquire Kuwait-based fast-food operator Kuwait Food Co. LVMH’s private-equity firm, L Capital, acquired a stake in Saudi Arabian gourmet food and cafe company Bateel last year.

Founded by Nizar Choucair in 1974, Patchi now has shops and distribution centers in countries including the U.K., France, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. The company was reported to have planned a dual-listing in Dubai and London in 2009, but never went ahead with the share sale.

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