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Mon 2 May 2011 11:28 AM

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Pragma Group set to launch three Cavalli Cafes in Istanbul

Beirut-based lifestyle firm also plans three more Cavalli Clubs in Miami, Moscow and London

Pragma Group set to launch three Cavalli Cafes in Istanbul
Italian designer Roberto Cavalli: under the terms of a deal with Pragma Group, the pair will open 20 clubs and cafes in the next five years

Pragma
Group, the Beirut-based lifestyle investment group, will launch three Cavalli
Cafes in Istanbul in the next eighteen months as part of a $150m global
expansion, its chairman said.

The
group, which currently operates the Cavalli Club in Dubai’s Fairmont hotel
through a license agreement with the Italian fashion designer, also plans to
expand the Cavalli Club brand in Miami, Moscow and London in the next three
years.

“We’re
[currently] building the first Cavalli Café in Beirut but in parallel we are
spotting locations in Turkey. We anticipate two to three cafes during the next
eighteen months in Istanbul alone,” Joe Tabet, Pragma’s chairman, told Arabian Business. 

“The
plan is for fifteen cafes in the next three years but we do believe that we can
do more because we are aligning with operators in the various countries. For
the cafes we are now talking about UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Cairo, Turkey and
the BRIC countries.”

The
group in December signed a deal with designer Roberto Cavalli to launch twenty
new Cavalli-branded clubs and cafes in emerging markets around the world.

 “We are now negotiating the expansion for the
club. So we’re now talking about London, Miami [and] Moscow so we are
negotiating [for] potential partners and territories for the club as well.
We’ll be happy if we open three clubs in the next three years,” said Tabet.

Pragma
also has a franchise deal with the former Formula One team boss Flavio
Briatore. The firm plans to use the billionaire businessman’s name for its
redevelopment of Dubai Media City’s Palladium.

The
group is re-launching the conference centre to include a hotel, club and
fitness centre but has been forced to delay the project by six months due to
design issues, said Tabet.

“We
had a delay of six months on that project [due to] design and concept changes.
Hopefully we’ll start construction at the end of May.”

The company said around $75m of the funding for the venues
would come from Pragma’s lifestyle fund – Laylak – which Tabet said would be
worth around $300m when fully rolled out.

The
remaining capital will come from private equity.  

 “Including the Billionaires Square and all of
the other initiatives we are talking about $200m. We’re raising these funds via
different vehicles, one of these vehicles is a fund of $100m [and] another is
direct private equity placement in different vehicles that we have created.”

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