| Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia PIF reportedly moves closer to stake in Starbucks franchise

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is reportedly the favourite to buy a minority stake in the Middle East, North Africa and central Asia Starbucks franchise, currently operated by Alshaya Group

Acquiring the business would present the PIF with instant access to 1,700 outlets in the region | Photo credit: Omar Lopez

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is reportedly the frontrunner to acquire a minority stake in Kuwaiti conglomerate Alshaya Group’s Starbucks franchise, according to Bloomberg.

The sovereign wealth fund was reported in June 2022 as shortlisted to purchase up to 30% of Kuwait-based Alshaya Group’s minority share in Starbucks.

Sources suggested that the PIF was among several bids being considered. Bloomberg has now reported that the $620bn PIF could reach an agreement in the coming weeks.

In May 2022 Saudi Arabia’s PIF launched the Saudi Coffee Company as part of a SAR 1.2bn ($320m) investment to develop its national coffee industry and boost production from 300 to 2,500 tons annually in the next ten years.

Acquiring the Starbucks business would present the PIF with instant access to approximately 1,700 outlets in the region, including 593 in Turkey, 340 stores in Saudi Arabia, 266 in the United Arab Emirates and 194 in Kuwait.

Alshaya Group, the region's largest brand franchise owner, also operates stores of 17 further food and beverage companies, including Shake Shack, The Cheesecake Factory and Pizza Express, alongside over 40 fashion and health brands.

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