Bidder for Mideast KFC Operator Said to Get $1.5 Billion Funding

  • Citi, StanChart among banks committed to fund Americana buy
  • 18-month bridge facility will be refinanced by loan or bond

Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc are among banks that have committed $1.5 billion to Adeptio LLC to fund its purchase of Middle East fast-food operator Kuwait Food Co., according to three bankers with knowledge of the deal.

Credit Suisse Group AG, National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, Emirates NBD PJSC, First Gulf Bank PJSC and Bahrain-based Ahli United Bank BSC have also committed funds for the 18-month bridge loan, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Some of the loan will be refinanced by another longer-maturity loan or a bond, they said.

Adeptio, the Dubai-based investor group, 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. The stake is valued at about $2 billion. Adeptio would also offer to take over the remaining shares in the company.

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

Kuwait Food said Feb. 8 it had agreed to allow Adeptio to conduct due diligence for 60 days.

An e-mail to the office of Emaar Properties PJSC Chairman Mohamed Alabbar, who leads Adeptio, was not answered. Spokesmen for Citigroup, Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse, NBAD, Emirates NBD declined to comment, while spokesmen for First Gulf Bank and Ahli United Bank didn’t respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

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