The leading Saudi investment company, JADWA has acquired Dubai’s Black Spoon Group which is the parent company of Allo Beirut Restaurants.
The acquisition will help Allo Beirut restaurants expand across the GCC with four restaurants already planned for Riyadh in the next 12 months.
The company also has plans to expand to the UK and acquire more food and beverage brands to merge them under their platform with the aim of an IPO in the next five years.
A Closer Look at Acquisition
Jadwa Investment acquired 100% of Black Spoon Group through its Jadwa Food & Beverage Opportunities Fund.
This transaction marks Jadwa’s sixteenth private equity investment since its inception and its second acquisition in the consumer sector in 2023 following its investment in Gissah Perfumes.
With client assets amounting to SAR 75 billion (USD 20 billion), Jadwa Investment is a reputable player in the investment landscape.
The firm is licensed by the CMA as a capital market institution, dealing as a principal and agent, arranging, advising, managing, and acting as a custodian in the securities business.
Its clients include government-related entities, local and international institutional investors, leading local family companies and offices, and high-net-worth individuals.
Black Spoon Group
Black Spoon Group, headquartered in Dubai, is a leading player in the casual dining sector. The group operates ten branches across three award-winning restaurant chains in the UAE. Each chain is known for its quality offerings at competitive prices, attracting a diverse customer base.
Black Spoon’s brands include Allo Beirut, Masti, Ibn Al Bahr, Bombay Bungalow, and House of Curry
Allo Beirut as The Flagship Brand
Among Black Spoon Group’s portfolio, Allo Beirut stands as a market leader in the Lebanese casual dining segment in the UAE. The brand has successfully attracted a large and diverse customer base with its quality offerings at competitive prices.
Jadwa’s Strategic Move
The acquisition of Black Spoon is an extension of Jadwa’s strategy to capitalize on the increasingly attractive consumer sector across the GCC. This sector has begun to reap the benefits of transformational government initiatives, a growing young population, and rising income levels.
The Expansion Plan
In addition to its operations across the UAE, Black Spoon Group recently launched its expansion plan across the GCC. The strategy includes franchising over 30 new Allo Beirut locations across the region over the next five years, primarily focusing on Saudi Arabia.
Mr Elkhoury said: “We want to grow this company beyond the UAE. We have Kuwait on the plan, we already have Qatar, we have India, Australia already signed, and we’re looking to go to the UK,”
Jadwa’s IPO Roadmap
Jadwa is set to grow Black Spoon’s leading brand, Allo Beirut, by opening four new outlets in Riyadh over the coming year.
Mr Elkhoury said further: “We see a big opportunity for this [food and beverage] market to consolidate because a lot of the players are small players and we want to be the first player to start consolidation in this market.
“That’s why we fully acquired 100 percent of Black Spoon as our platform to consolidate the market … which means acquiring smaller brands and merging them under the platform, with the target to IPO [offer an initial public offering of] the platform in the next five years.”
The Future Vision
Elie Elkhoury, Head of Private Equity at Jadwa Investment, stated, “We believe Blackspoon is a compelling opportunity in the restaurants segment as it is at a pivotal juncture in its growth trajectory. We are excited to work with Blackspoon’s leadership in executing its vision and expect this investment to pave the way for additional F&B acquisitions under the Blackspoon umbrella.”
Black Spoon Group’s CEO, Charbel Mhanna, expressed his delight about the partnership with Jadwa Investment. He believes that Jadwa’s expertise will be instrumental in accelerating Black Spoon Group’s growth and making it a regional F&B leader.
Private Sector Growth in Saudi Arabia
Private sector contribution to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product increased by 3.4 percent in the third quarter of 2023. This growth reflected the Kingdom’s efforts to foster an environment conducive to strategic planning and supportive initiatives.
A Promising Landscape
The GCC F&B market is projected to hit $128.2 billion by 2029, up from an estimated $94.4 billion in 2023. This growth represents a compound annual growth rate of more than 6.1 percent, making it a promising landscape for investment.
Take a glance around Riyadh, and you’ll notice Saudis pouring their enthusiasm for a high-quality life into a desire for fine dining. The growing number of new Riyadh Restaurants offers a great variety of national and international brands offering some of the finest cuisines in the world. Riyadh is now becoming the restaurant capital of the Middle East.
Here are some of the tried and tested picks for the best restaurants in Riyadh:
- A.O.K Kitchen Saudi
- Morini Italian Restaurant
- Il Baretto Italian Restaurant
- Chez Bruno – Bujairi Terrace
Jadwa’s Future Plans
Jadwa plans to invest in six to eight companies over the next two years, primarily in the GCC consumer sectors. This move will bring its total GCC investment portfolio to about 24 as part of the firm’s plan to invest approximately SAR2 billion (US$533 million) by 2025.
With the acquisition of Black Spoon Group, Jadwa Investment has made a significant stride in the F&B sector. This move expands the firm’s portfolio and paves the way for future growth and consolidation in the GCC’s consumer sector.