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|| Carlyle Group acquires 42% stake in Domino's Pizza MENA master franchise

carlyle.jpgGlobal private equity firm The Carlyle Group announced it has acquired a 42% stake in Alamar Foods, a master franchise operator of Domino's Pizza and Wendy's hamburgers in the Middle East.

Alamar has 185 restaurants across 11 countries including 75 in Saudi Arabia.

Carlyle MENA is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR52.

More details follows

Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group announced it has acquired a 42% stake in Alamar Foods from the Al Jammaz family of Saudi Arabia, which will continue to hold a majority stake. The transaction closed on December 14, 2011. Additional financial details were not released.

Alamar is a master franchise operator of Domino's Pizza and Wendy's hamburgers for the MENA region (except for Wendy's in Saudi Arabia ) with 185 restaurants across 11 countries; and a food processor supplying the quick service and casual dining restaurant industry selling under the "Premier" brand.

Abdulaziz Al Jammaz, Chairman of Alamar, said: "We are proud of our achievements over the past 20 years. The company has demonstrated excellent performance and growth. Carlyle has a strong understanding of our business and shares our vision. Our mutual priority will be to maintain our high level of customer satisfaction as this is integral to our success."

Walid Musallam, Carlyle Managing Director and Head of Carlyle MENA Partners, said: "The food sector in the MENA region is well-established and growing, especially for popular brands such as Domino's and Wendy's. Alamar's strong market position and clear growth strategy give it great potential. We fully endorse their business model and support their strategy to invest in, and scale up, their Premier food business, while expanding Domino's and Wendy's footprint across the region."

The casual dining market in the Middle East shows compelling investment characteristics, including consistently robust GDP growth, extensive business, leisure and religious tourism initiatives and a young and growing population with a high disposable income.

The young population is well travelled and exposed to a variety of cuisines and eating habits, while foreign workers and tourists look for familiar, global food options, creating a higher demand for western and European chains and franchises across the region.

In Saudi Arabia specifically, these factors have led to significant growth rates of consumer expenditure on food: 6.6% in 2009 and 5% in 2010. Quick service restaurant sales are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5% between 2010 and 2014.

Alamar has 176 corporate and franchised Domino's restaurants in 11 countries, including 75 in Saudi Arabia. In 2011, the Company was awarded the master franchise for Wendy's for the MENA region (excluding Saudi Arabia), and operates nine restaurants in the UAE through a sub-franchise arrangement.

Premier, Alamar's food processing business, was established in 2001 and is also based in Saudi Arabia. Premier is a regional pioneer in the food processing industry catering to international and local quick service and casual dining restaurant chains.

Firas Nasir, Managing Director responsible for GCC investments within Carlyle MENA, said: "We are pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Alamar Foods and to work alongside its talented management team. The group has built an exceptional company over the years and we look forward to contributing to its future success."

Carlyle's investment in Alamar Foods underscores the firm's commitment to the MENA region. Equity for this investment will come from Carlyle MENA Partners, L.P., a $500m growth capital and buyout fund established in March 2009, as well as from Carlyle MENA (GCC) Partners, L.P., a fund established in June 2011. Previous investments made by Carlyle MENA include: The General Lighting Company, Saudi Arabia's largest lighting fixture manufacturer, in March 2010; and Medical Park, Turkey's second largest healthcare group, in December 2009.

Carlyle has significant, global experience in the food industry and in franchise chains including investments in: Dunkin' Brands, Inc., a premier franchisor of quick service restaurant concepts under the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands; Babela Restaurant Management Co. Ltd., a fast-growing Italian-style restaurant chain; China Fishery Group Limited, a global industrial fishing company focused on the harvesting, processing and distribution of fish; and DIO F&B Co., Ltd., the largest coffee shop, leisure dining food and beverage chain in China.

Carlyle is committed to investing in developing markets. In 2011, Carlyle launched a team to focus on investment opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Carlyle has made over 100 investments in Asia's Emerging Markets to date, including 55 in China and 25 in India. The firm has formed strategic relationships with the Municipal Government in Beijing and Fosun Group in Shanghai on the formation of RMB funds. Carlyle also invests in Latin America and completed its 7th deal in Brazil in 2011.

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