Spinneys Dubai LLC, the franchisee of the supermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is planning to go public in the second quarter of 2024, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Albwardy Investment, the franchise’s owner, has hired Rothschild & Co to advise on the planned IPO. The company has invited banks to pitch for roles in the offering, which is expected to be up to 30% of the company. Spinneys, Albwardy, and Rothschild have not yet responded to requests for comment.
The potential IPO of Spinneys Dubai would contribute to the growing regional food retail sector. Americana Restaurants, the franchisee of KFC and Pizza Hut in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as a frozen food seller, debuted in a dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh in December. Lulu Group, a hypermarket and mall operator, also plans to go public in the first half of 2024. The company has hired Moelis & Co to advise on the IPO.
IPO activity in the Gulf is expected to increase after a slowdown in 2022. Saudi Arabia and the UAE led new listings last year, raising nearly $22 billion, more than half of the total for the wider Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. Middle Eastern companies raised $5.3 billion in the first half of this year through 23 market debuts.
Spinneys Dubai currently operates over 65 stores in the UAE and at least seven stores in Oman. Albwardy, which has an annual turnover above $1 billion, also owns the franchise rights to Waitrose. The company has a diverse portfolio that includes Four Seasons hotels, food distribution investments, and other sectors such as industrial and engineering, commercial and insurance, agribusiness, and properties.
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