UAE-based investment firm Gulf Capital has acquired Chef Middle East, an importer and distributor of high-end, specialty and fine food products from around the world. Through a leverage buy-out structure funded by a combination of equity and debt from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Gulf Capital has acquired the shares and assets of ‘Chef’ from Vintage Holdings, including Chef Middle East’s 53,800 sqft warehousing facilities and headquarters at Dubai Investment Park, its distribution centres and cold storage facilities across the UAE, Doha and Muscat, as well as its modern fleet of 50 temperature-controlled trucks.
Chef Middle east was established in 1995 in Dubai as a regional supplier of quality foods to the hotel, food services, casual dining and airline industries, servicing the UAE, Qatar and Oman. The company supplies more than 2000 food products in the dry, chilled and frozen categories including cheese, chocolate, poultry, egg products, oils, vinegars, spices, pickles and condiments.
“The defensive nature of the food services sector, which has historically been resilient to recessions, and the leadership position of ‘Chef’ within this high-growth, demographically-driven niche subsector makes this acquisition ideal for us, and offers Gulf Capital a solid platform for future growth in the food sector,” says Richard Dallas, managing director – private equity at Gulf Capital.