Dubai's Marka buys Reem Al Bawadi for US $85.7mn
Ayman Abdel Jaber, CEO and founder of Reem Al Bawadi, to join Marka in an advisory capacity
Marka, a Dubai-based retail and hospitality firm, has acquired home-grown restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi.
The deal has been valued at approximately AED315 million ($85.7 million), and is part of Marka's long-term growth strategy of building a portfolio of brands operated by its food and beverage division, Marka Hospitality.
The company said in a statement that the acquisition is being funded by a mix of the company's own funds and bank facilities and is anticipated to have an immediate impact on Marka's bottom line financial performance.
Marka said it plans to embark upon an expansion programme for Reem al Bawadi across the GCC, with new locations confirmed to open in 2015, including at least two new company owned outlets in the UAE and up to five new franchised outlets in the wider Middle East and North Africa region.
The sale is one of the largest food and beverage acquisitions in the UAE relating to a home-grown hospitality brand, it added.
Khaled Almheiri, vice chairman and managing director at Marka said: "Reem al Bawadi is a family friendly restaurant renowned for its authentic Middle Eastern cuisine and superb hospitality. Over the last decade, it has become a landmark for Arabic food in the UAE and its recent expansion outside its home market into Saudi Arabia and Pakistan has proven the broad appeal of the brand."
Ayman Abdel Jaber, CEO and founder of Reem Al Bawadi added: "As we have grown, we have maintained our commitment to our customers and to preserving this spirit. Marka is committed to nurturing and growing the brands that it operates, and we are delighted to bring the authentic Middle East cuisine and hospitality of Reem Al Bawadi into the Marka family of brands."
Almheiri said Jaber will be joining Marka Hospitality in an advisory capacity.