Spinneys Dubai LLC, the franchisee of the supermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of the business in the second quarter of 2024, the news agency Reuters reported.
Albwardy Investment, the 100 per cent owner of the franchise, has purportedly engaged Rothschild & Co to provide advisory services for the planned IPO. It has been disclosed that they have invited banks to present their proposals for participation in the offering, which is expected to encompass up to 30 per cent of the company.
However, there has been no response from Spinneys, Albwardy, or Rothschild to Reuters’ requests for comments.
The potential IPO of Spinneys Dubai, slated for listing on the Dubai Financial Market, would contribute to the growth of the relatively small but expanding regional food retail sector.
Americana Restaurants, the franchisee for fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut in the Middle East and North Africa, along with a frozen food business, made its debut in a dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh in December. Lulu Group, a hypermarket and mall operator, has announced plans for its own IPO in the first half of 2024, and it has enlisted Moelis & Co for advisory services, confirming a Reuters report from October 2022.
IPO activity in the Gulf region is expected to rebound after a remarkable 2022 when Saudi Arabia and the UAE led in new listings, raising nearly USD 22 billion, more than half of the total for the larger Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, according to data from Dealogic. In the first half of the current year, Middle Eastern companies raised USD 5.3 billion through 23 market debuts.
According to Spinneys Dubai’s website, it currently operates more than 65 stores across the UAE, and Albwardy’s website states that it operates at least seven stores in Oman.
Albwardy, with an annual turnover exceeding USD 1 billion, also holds franchise rights for the upmarket British supermarket chain Waitrose. Established in the mid-1970s, Albwardy has a diverse portfolio that includes several Four Seasons hotels, food distribution investments like Nestle UAE, and involvement in other sectors such as industrial and engineering, commercial and insurance, agribusiness, and properties.