Savola Group Bids for Middle East Operator of KFC and Pizza Hut
Saudi Arabian food producer Savola Group has joined the first round of bidders vying to capture the Kuwait Food Co., operator of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Pizza Hut restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Kuwait Food, commonly known as Americana, could receive up to $4 billion for the assets according to sources close to the matter.
The average offer for the business stood at roughly 3.5 Kuwaiti dinars per share, which values the whole chain at closer to $5 billion dollars (1.41 billion dinars).
Other bidders include Advent International Corp. and TPG Capital alongside KKR &Co. and CVC Capital Partners Ltd., who have submitted a joint offer.
If the deal was to go through, it would become one the region’s biggest ever acquisitions. Improving financial markets and a strengthening private equity scene are the products of an improving economic situation in the Middle East, which has emerged stronger than most parts of the world from the global crash in 2008.
Americana is ran by Kuwait’s Al-Kharafi family and was founded in 1964. Alongside running restaurants it also produces food in volume such as frozen vegetables, recording sales of $3.1 billion last year. It employs more than 63,000 people across 13 countries.
Frictionless banking, the Salesforce way
Alan Donnelly has enjoyed a long and successful career in the IT and financial services industry. He has worked with banks, insurers, payments companies, fintechs and more in support of business transformation programmes for some of the biggest names in the business for the past 27 years.
Today, he’s head of financial services for Salesforce UK, the leading global, cloud-based CRM platform that integrates customers and companies. Donnelly is also currently leading the Salesforce operation that is digitally transforming the UK arm of the Madrid-based Santander Group.
“I have had the pleasure of working with many financia
l institutions over many years,” he says. “Typically, it was involved in helping customers build big banking systems and banking platforms that ran what we would call systems of record. But now, as I've moved into Salesforce and we're building our financial services business, we are really now helping our customers engage with their customers.”
The partnership withSantander is a multi channel operation that sees Salesforce helping the bank to engage better with corporate clients and retail customers via their branches and the internet, says Donnelly.
“We're also helping them with customers, who maybe wish to acquire mortgages and mortgages for the life events. I guess it's a multi connectivity environment. But in every case, Santander needs to understand the customer's requirements and better serve those customers in the right time and the right fashion,” Donnelly explains
He adds, “I also think the ability to contact customers whenever they need help and support, as we've seen in the recent pandemic, has proven critical - so I think technology is definitely much more connectable and effective than it was before.”