Lebanon Businessnews News

Al Rifai ends business with Kuwait’s Al Homaizi
Roastery seeks arbitration to
regain investments lost in partnership
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Local roastery Al Rifai has put an end to its cooperation with Kuwaiti partner Saleh Al Homaizi. As a result, the two parties terminated their joint venture, Al Rifai International for Nuts and Confectionaries.

The joint firm, initiated in 1997, intended to develop the Al Rifai brand in the MENA region, mainly in Gulf countries, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt. Besides the distribution of Al Rifai products, the contract had stipulated opening Al Rifai shops in the target markets. A factory was established in Kuwait to serve the Gulf markets.

The contract failed to fulfill its intended purpose of establishing a company that truly represents Al Rifai’s concept, according to sources close to the industry. “The quality of products and services offered did not match the Al Rifai identity, which was harming the brand name,” the sources said.

The Kuwaiti-based company was expected to generate about $350 million in annual turnover, which was not achieved during the 14 years of partnership.

Al Rifai will seek arbitration at the Arbitration Center in Paris, within the Chamber of Commerce, seeking to regain the investments it lost through the venture.

Saleh Al Homaizi owns the hospitality management firm Al Kout Food Group, which has the franchise rights for Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Applebee's, among others.

Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Jan 22, 2013
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