Simbisa targets Dubai firm

Simbisa targets Dubai firm
Published: 05 October 2017
QUICK service restaurant operator, Simbisa Brands, is planning to acquire a United Arab Emirates-based fast-food group, as it seeks to boost its profile ahead of a planned London listing.

The fast food company is currently trading under a cautionary statement issued in July, informing shareholders that it was in discussions with an unnamed firm for the acquisition of an international complimentary business.

The cautionary was renewed over a week ago.

"Shareholders will be provided with more details regarding the transactions by way of a circular in due course. Accordingly, shareholders are advised to exercise caution and should consult their professional advisors before dealing in the company's share," Simbisa said, without elaborating.

Now, The Financial Gazette can reveal that Dubai-based Food Fund International (FFI) is the subject of Simbisa's planned acquisition.

People familiar with developments at the company, an Innscor Africa subsidiary that is set to list on the London Stock Exchange before the end of the year, said Simbisa was making strategic acquisitions to hedge itself against economic vagaries in Zimbabwe.

"In its quest to become the largest pan African quick service operator, Simbisa is currently locked in negotiations with Food Fund, which runs lucrative restaurant businesses in Dubai, South Africa and the United Kingdom," the source said.

"The group was attracted to Food Fund after realising that patrons spend a minimum of $50 on the company's upmarket restaurants across the world and this can greatly enhance Simbisa's revenue streams and improve shareholder value," added the source.

Zimbabwe is experiencing a debilitating cash and foreign currency crisis emanating from the country's low exports and high government expenditure, among other things.

This has resulted in companies reducing their capital expenditure.

Simbisa's revenue jumped eight percent to $158 million in the half year to June 30, 2017 compared to $146 million during the same period in 2016, driven by growth in the group's largest markets that include Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Information gathered by this publication shows that Food Fund is a family-owned and run business that has several restaurants across the globe.

The group was developed as a concept over 10 years ago by Costa Tomazos, who started his food and beverage experience in the 1970s by opening one of the first steakhouse chains in South Africa.

As chairman of Food Fund, Tomazos focuses on the strategic development of the group, combining all the elements of sound financial management with an exceptional amount of entrepreneurial flair.

He has consistently delivered viable concepts and solutions within the food industry - growing the Food Fund portfolio year on year, identifying new and exciting opportunities, and bringing them to life.

Food Fund's objective is to build a substantial base of restaurants internationally with more projects being signed up and new brands under development.

Simbisa, which currently operates 432 quick service restaurants in 11 countries across Africa with future ambitions of further expansion across the region, registered a $6,4 million profit in the half year to June.

The group's chief executive officer, Basil Dionisio, was not immediately available for comment.
- fingaz
Tags: Simbisa,


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