Americana saga ends after Alabbar’s Adeptio pulls out

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Kuwait, Middle east

© iStock
© iStock
The on-again-off-again sale of a majority stake in Kuwait Food Co, otherwise known as Americana, to a Gulf-based consortium has been scrapped by the Al Kharafi family, bringing to an end months of negotiations over a deal worth billions of dollars.

Owning the Middle East franchises for fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut, Americana also manufactures branded consumer foods. 

In late June, it was announced that the sale was going ahead after Adeptio, an investment consortium led by prominent Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar, agreed to pay US$2.4bn for the family’s 69% stake in the food company.

Had the deal completed, it would have marked the end to a long, dramatic sales process, which had been near to collapse several times, seen rumours flying, had bidders make and break alliances and been compared to a dead chicken​ . 

The Financial Times​ reported that banks in the region were relieved at the prospect of the end of the Americana saga. It had been reported that Adeptio approached a consortium of Middle Eastern banks to secure a US$1.65bn loan to support its purchase.

"An agreement has not been reached between [Al Kharaffi vehicle] Al Khair and Adeptio and both sides have agreed to end all negotiations in regard to the acquisition​", the family said in a statement. 

Adeptio said: "The parties involved could not reach an agreement on mutually acceptable terms​." 

Other parties, including Singapore's Temasek Holdings, Saudi food maker Savola Group and private equity funds KKR and CVC, had at one time expressed an in interest in Americana. 

Under Kuwaiti law, Adeptio would have had to buy all Americana shares on the stock market at the same price it had agreed to pay the Kharafis.

Trading in Americana's shares was halted at the weekend pending an announcement from the firm. 

Related topics: Business, Middle East, Supply chain

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