Fajr Capital acquires Cravia Group

RetailME Bureau

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) headquartered private equity investor Fajr Capital has announced the completion of its acquisition of Cravia Group, the UAE-based food service retailer.

Founded in 2001, Cravia is the parent company that operates franchises of Zaatar w Zeit, Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Carvel ice cream. Cravia also recently started operations for the American burger brand, Five Guys, in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. The newly opened Five Guys outlet in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is the burger chain’s largest branch worldwide and broke the record for the highest performing store by sales in the global network.

Fajr Capital’s investment in Cravia will support the company to strengthen its leadership position in the regional food and beverage (F&B) sector and accelerate its immediate growth plans. Cravia’s management team will leverage Fajr Capital’s global network to increase the company’s presence in existing markets and penetrate new markets such as Bahrain and Qatar.

Walid Hajj, founder of Cravia, will remain actively involved in the business as executive chairman. The company’s experienced management team will also remain in place and will continue to be led by CEO Louay Ghandour.

“Cravia is one of the most successful and exciting F&B platforms in the Middle East. We are delighted to announce our investment in Cravia at such an important stage in the company’s growth trajectory, and look forward to expanding the business in our constituent markets. We are confident that Hajj and Ghandour, in partnership with the world-class management team already in place, will drive the company’s continued growth, while maintaining Cravia’s guiding principles of loyalty, integrity, dynamism and excellence,” says Iqbal Khan, CEO, Fajr Capital.

“I’m very proud of the progress Cravia has made over the last 15 years and I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Fajr Capital’s proven track record and global network will be extremely valuable as Cravia enters a new stage of expansion and growth. We are grateful to Fajr Capital for their confidence in Cravia, and their belief in our executive management team and our hard-working and dedicated employees,” adds Hajj.

Dubai-based deNovo Corporate Advisors acted as sell-side advisors on the deal, with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher providing legal representation to the shareholders of Cravia. Deloitte, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Arqaam Capital and Strategy& acted on behalf of Fajr Capital.