Dubai's Landmark Group has taken a stake in British frozen foods retailer Iceland Foods as part of a deal that sees founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker back in control.
In a deal valuing the firm at £1.55bn ($2.45bn),
the buyout of the 77 percent stake from the liquidators of failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir is being backed by an £860m debt package, the company said on Friday.
Walker and other managers will own a 43 percent stake of Iceland's equity, while new co-investors Lord Kirkham, Brait and Landmark Group will own the rest, Reuters reported.
South African investment firm Brait said that its £80m stake amounted to 19 percent.
Landmark, one of the largest retail conglomerates in the Gulf region, is ramping up its expansion through buying franchise rights of international firms and developing its own brands.
The firm on November 1 said it expects to see an annual turnover of $5bn by 2015. The operator of more than 1,000 outlets across the Middle East and India said it had seen a 28 percent increase in revenues in 2010-2011.
Walker founded the Iceland Foods with £60 of capital in 1970. Friday's deal gives the business an enterprise value of £1.45bn and an equity value of £1.55bn.
The buyout debt package is being funded by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura and RBS.
Iceland operates 800 stores in the UK and had sales of £2.4bn in the year to March 2011.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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