Kudu Gets PE $

The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj” or “the Group”), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, and TPG, a leading global private investment firm, today announced the completion of an investment into Kudu, a Saudi Arabian restaurant group with multiple sites and brands across the country.

The Sharia compliant debt investment made by an Abraaj managed Fund and TPG, through a jointly owned vehicle, will allow the company to enter the next stage of its expansion and continue to set the benchmark for fast food retailing in Saudi Arabia.

Under the leadership of Engineer Abdulmohsen Al Yahya and Engineer Saleh Al Saleh, Founding Chief Executive Officer and Founding Chief Administrative Officer, respectively, Kudu emerged as a leading brand in Saudi Arabia. By identifying consumer trends and tastes and focusing on best in class operations, Engineers Al Yahya and Al Saleh built Kudu into a vertically integrated consumer food service company with a presence in the QSR, fast casual, casual dining and coffee shop/café segments across Saudi Arabia via a portfolio of five brands and over 290 outlets.

The company’s flagship brand, Kudu, is the largest QSR network in Saudi Arabia by store numbers and is well-known for its variety of cooked to order sandwiches, hamburgers, breakfast items, kids’ meals and a variety of side orders and other fast food items and beverages. Conducting the meal preparation process in clear view of the customer is a key component of Kudu’s appeal, giving it a unique edge and dining experience over other QSR restaurants. Kudu’s rigorous staff training and advanced management systems ensure consistently high standards of quality, customer service, reliability and efficiency, making Kudu one of the most recognised fast food brands.

The regional QSR sector is primed for further growth due to the attractive demographics, rising disposable incomes and under-penetration of restaurant chains across the region. The investment by Abraaj and TPG will help Kudu accelerate an expansive store roll out plan and is expected to enable the management to capitalize on operational improvement opportunities and sector know-how, building on the extensive experience of Abraaj and TPG in both the QSR and FMCG space – across the Middle East and globally.

Kudu has put in place a new management team to help the company achieve its rapid expansion strategy with Glen Helton appointed as Chief Executive Officer who brings with him more than 20 years of restaurant experience in the QSR sector, having held senior management positions in global brands such as Burger King and Popeyes.

Ahmed Badreldin, Partner at The Abraaj Group, said: “The region’s highly positive demographic and consumer trends coupled with Kudu’s well-loved brands and broad dining offering positions it to become one of the leading fast food groups in the Middle East restaurant sector. We hope to accelerate that growth working alongside TPG and the Kudu management team.”

Ramzi Gedeon, Partner at TPG, said: “We are excited about investing in Kudu and are particularly attracted to the company’s strong brand within the attractive Saudi Quick Service Restaurant market. We look forward to working with Abraaj and Kudu’s management to support the company’s ambitious future plans.”

April 9, 2015