Spinneys Dubai LLC, the franchise holder of a prominent supermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is reportedly gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) in the second quarter of 2024, as disclosed by three sources familiar with the matter.

Albwardy Investment, the sole owner of this franchise, has enlisted the services of Rothschild & Co to provide counsel on this planned IPO.
These sources have chosen to remain anonymous, given the confidential nature of these plans.

In the recent week, Albwardy Investment invited various banks to present their proposals for participating in the offering, which is expected to encompass up to 30 percent of the company. Thus far, Spinneys, Albwardy, and Rothschild have refrained from responding to Reuters’ inquiries for comments.

The potential IPO for Spinneys Dubai, set to be listed on the Dubai Financial Market, would contribute to the burgeoning food retail sector within the region. This move follows in the footsteps of Americana Restaurants, the franchisee for fast food giants KFC and Pizza Hut in the Middle East and North Africa, which recently made its dual listing debut in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, along with a frozen food division, in December.

Furthermore, Lulu Group, renowned for its hypermarkets and malls, anticipates its IPO to take place in the first half of 2024, as confirmed by the company’s chairman. The group has enlisted Moelis & Co for advisory services, reaffirming a report by Reuters in October 2022.

IPO activity in the Gulf region is poised for resurgence after experiencing a slowdown following the remarkable year of 2022, during which Saudi Arabia and the UAE spearheaded new listings, generating close to $22 billion. This accounted for more than half of the total IPO capital raised in the broader Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, according to Dealogic data. Even in the first half of the current year, Middle Eastern companies successfully raised $5.3 billion through 23 market debuts.

Spinneys Dubai, according to its website, manages a network of over 65 stores across the UAE, and it also operates at least seven stores in Oman, as indicated on Albwardy’s website. Albwardy, a company with an annual turnover exceeding $1 billion, holds the franchise rights for the esteemed British supermarket chain Waitrose.

Established in the mid-1970s, Albwardy boasts a diverse portfolio that spans the hospitality sector, featuring multiple Four Seasons hotels, as well as investments in food distribution, including Nestle UAE.

The company’s interests also extend to other sectors such as industry and engineering, commerce and insurance, agribusiness, and properties.

Last Updated: 25 September 2023