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Sun 6 Apr 2014 03:28 PM

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Kuwait's Americana chairman says not aware of potential sale

Reports claimed owners were working with investment bank Rothschild to approach potential buyers

Kuwait's Americana chairman says not aware of potential sale

Kuwait Food Co. (Americana) is not aware of any
potential stake sale by its majority shareholder, its chairman said on Sunday.

Sources told Reuters on Thursday that Kuwait's
billionaire Al Kharafi family was looking to sell Americana and had hired
bankers to explore a deal.

"We don't know anything about anything on this
subject," Americana Chairman Marzouk Al Kharafi told journalists on the
sidelines of an annual general meeting in Kuwait.

"This subject is for shareholders," he
added.

Four sources familiar with the matter had told
Reuters that there was no formal process underway, but the family was working
with investment bank Rothschild to approach potential buyers including private
equity groups and sovereign wealth funds in the region to explore their
interest in the $3.6bn group.

According to Thomson Reuters data, the Kharafi
family holds 66.8 percent of Kuwait Food Company through its private investment
company MAK (Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al Kharafi & Sons). It sells goods under
the brand name Americana.

It trades on the Kuwait stock exchange and its
$3.63bn market capitalisation makes it the biggest company on the Thomson
Reuters MENA Cyclical Consumer Goods and Services Index. The group had sales of
$3.1bn in 2013 and profit of $179m, according to its website.

Founded in 1964 in Kuwait, Americana is a publicly
traded group of companies based in the Middle East and North Africa, with
interests in restaurants and packaged food.

The company is a franchise operator of restaurants
including KFC and Pizza Hut, owned by Yum Brands, and Red Lobster and Olive
Garden, owned by Darden Restaurants. Americana also manufactures California
Garden beans and Farm Frites frozen vegetables.

The Kharafi family is one of the most influential
in the Gulf Arab region, with holdings across various sectors including
construction, financials and telecoms.

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Jay 6 years ago

Alghanim were talking to Bader kharafi for a yr on this matter
They are keen to focus on this an high level source in Alghanim told me to add to the GTRC