A KFC outlet in Dubai. Shares in Americana, which operates KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa, have gained 5 per cent this year to 2.1 Kuwait dinars. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Archive

New York/Dubai: A UAE-based investor group led by Emaar Properties Chairman Mohammad Alabbar said it agreed to buy Kuwait Food Co shares from its majority stockholder for $2.36 billion (Dh8.6 billion).

Adeptio AD Investments SPC Ltd, the group led by Alabbar, will pay 2.65 Kuwaiti dinars ($8.80) per share to buy a stake in the company known as Americana from Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Co, the companies said in a statement. That represents a 26 per cent premium to the last closing price on Wednesday in a sales process that has stretched back at least two years.

Adeptio will launch a mandatory takeover offer for the remaining shares of Americana at the same price, according to the statement. Al Khair owns a 67 per cent stake in the company that operates KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Throughout the years, suitors have included Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte, KKR & Co and CVC Capital Partners Ltd.

The shares of Americana have gained 5 per cent this year to 2.1 dinars, while Kuwait’s benchmark stock index has declined 3.9 per cent.

“We are delighted to have acquired one of the crown jewels of the Middle East,” Alabbar said in the statement. “With its long and successful history as the leading food and restaurants business in Mena, Americana is uniquely positioned in the region.”

Adeptio hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc for advice on the transaction, as well as Allen & Overy as its lawyers. Rothschild advised Al Khair, which sought legal counsel from Clifford Chance. Standard Chartered Bank assisted in structuring the acquisition financing and joined Credit Suisse, Ahli United Bank, Emirates NBD, First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi as mandated lead arrangers for the transaction.