Kuwait Food Co. is reportedly in talks again to sell a majority stake to Gulf investment firm Adeptio.
The re-start of the negotiations, reported by Reuters today, follows the collapse of talks last month.
Reuters cited an unnamed source who said talks have restarted in the past few days. The gap between the buyer and the seller is narrower than before, the source said.
Kuwait Food Co., also known as Americana, and Adeptio first struck a deal that would have seen the Dubai-based investment group take a 69% stake in the business in February. The majority stake in Kuwait Food Co. is owned by the al-Kharafi family. Adeptio had agreed to acquire the stake subject to due diligence and then indicated it would then launch a mandatory takeover offer for the rest of the company.
Speculation the al-Kharafi family was looking for a buyer began in April 2014. In January last year, Kuwait Food Co.’s majority shareholder, Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Co., owned by the al-Kharafi family, confirmed the company was still in talks with “several parties” regarding a sale of its stake after media reports claimed a sale was close to being put on hold as talks were faltering, partly due to differences on price. Media reports since 2014 had suggested Saudi’s Savola Group and private-equity firms KKR and CVC had all expressed interest in the company.
Kuwait Food Co. manufactures frozen foods including California Garden beans and Farm Frites, as well as being a franchise operator of some restaurants including Yum! Brands’ KFC and Pizza Hut.