Gateway Partners invests in Tim Hortons Gulf franchise

RetailME Bureau

Dubai-based private equity firm Gateway Partners has, reportedly, invested in the Gulf franchise of coffee and breakfast chain Tim Hortons, acquiring a 40% stake. Tim Hortons is part of retail conglomerate Apparel Group in the GCC.

Gateway Partners, which is led by former Standard Chartered banker Viswanathan Shankar, reportedly paid about $50 million for the holding. Gateway Partners made the investment through its Gateway Fund 1 in February 2020, indicates information on its website. However, Gateway Partners declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Apparel Group chairman Nilesh Ved has confirmed Gateway’s investment, which he said would be used to grow the business, but declined to discuss the value or size of the deal.

The website describes the Tim Hortons regional business as the chain’s leading franchise outside of North America, with 141 stores as of the end of last year across the Middle East.

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While cafés and restaurants have been temporarily closed for dine-in across the GCC after a lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, Ved said six-seven Tim Hortons outlets remain open for deliveries to customers in Dubai and 15 are doing business in Saudi Arabia, through the use of third-party delivery apps.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak leading to movement restriction across the GCC, Ved had said that Apparel Group had planned to open another 300 Tim Hortons outlets in the next three years.