Kuwaiti conglomerate buys UAE Red Bull distributor

Mezzan Holding Co, a diversified Kuwaiti conglomerate, will acquire the distributor of Red Bull energy drink in the United Arab Emirates, highlighting appetite for consumer-related investments in the Gulf Arab region.

Mezzan is buying Unitra Mets Group (UMG) from Abu Dhabi-based Invest AD and its other shareholders, Mezzan and Invest AD said in a joint statement on Monday. State-owned asset manager Invest AD had bought a majority stake in UMG in 2008 from its family shareholders.

No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

Investor appetite in the Gulf's growing consumer sector has been buoyant leading to a surge in mergers and acquisitions activity in recent years. In 2011, Coca-Cola Co bought a stake in Saudi Arabia-based beverage company Aujan Industries for $980 million seeking to tap into demand for non-alcoholic drinks in the Middle East.

UMG also distributes other leading non-alcoholic beverage brands in the UAE like San Pellegrino, Mezzan said in a statement.

Mezzan Holding were advised by NBK Capital, the investment banking arm of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP on the transaction. Dubai-based deNovo Corporate Advisors and Clifford Chance LLP advised InvestAD.

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