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Sat 9 Jan 2010 07:19 PM

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Saudi's Herfy to raise $110.2m from Jan IPO

Company to sell 30% of capital with proceeds of sale to go to shareholders.

Herfy Food Services Co, the Saudi replica of fast food chains McDonald's and Burger King, plans to raise $110.2 million from an initial public offering starting next week, the firm said on Saturday.

The company will sell 8.1 million shares, or 30 percent of its capital, at 51 riyals each, over the Jan 11 17 period, it said in its listing prospectus.

Proceeds of the sale will go to Herfy's shareholders, it said, adding: "Herfy will not get any part of the IPO's proceeds."

The firm was set up in 1981 by US educated businessman Ahmed al Said who was inspired by "the fast food craze then sweeping the world", according to its website.

In 1998, Savola Group - the Middle East's biggest edible oil manufacturer and sugar refiner - became among Herfy's shareholders.

Savola's stake in Herfy will decrease to 47.6 percent after the IPO from the current 68 percent or by about 5.51 million shares while that of its founder Ahmad al Said will decline to 20.3 percent from 29 percent or by about 2.35 million shares, the prospectus showed.

Proceeds from the IPO are expected to boost Savola's earnings during the first quarter.

By mid June last year, Herfy had 184 restaurants in Saudi Arabia and 12 others in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait and the UAE.

It also owns 16 bakery production units as well as one meat processing plant.

Its net profit in 2008 rose to $24.3 million from $16 million a year earlier, while turnover increased to $124.3 million from $99.9 million in 2007.

During the first half of 2009, Herfy made a net profit of $14.6 million on sales of $67.8 million, up from respectively $11.7 million and $60.45 million during the year earlier period. (Reuters)

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