Citi Said to Exit $1.5 Billion Loan for Americana Takeover

  • Remaining banks said to make up shortfall after Citigroup exit
  • Americana franchise operator of KFC, Pizza Hut in Middle East

Citigroup has dropped out of the group of banks that will provide a $1.5 billion loan to fund the takeover of fast-food company Kuwait Food Co. by investor group Adeptio LLC, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Some of the remaining five banks in the deal, which includes Credit Suisse Group AG, Emirates NBD PJSC and First Gulf Bank PJSC, will increase the amount they lend to make up for Citigroup’s exit, one of the people said. Americana’s business dealings in Iran raised compliance concerns at Citigroup, Reuters reported, citing two people it didn’t identify.

Adeptio, a Dubai-based group led by Emaar Properties PJSC Chairman Mohamed Alabbar, announced in February it had signed an initial accord to buy a 69 percent stake in Americana, as Kuwait Food is also called, from Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate LLC. Adeptio would also offer to take over the remaining shares.

A spokesman for Citigroup declined to comment. An emailed statement from Alabbar’s office said the loan was “oversubscribed, multiple times.”

Americana is the franchise operator of restaurants such as KFC, TGI Friday’s and Pizza Hut in the Middle East and North Africa. It also produces California Garden beans and Farm Frites frozen vegetables.

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