Qatar First Bank (QFB) has announced two new successful exists from its equity investments in Al Rifai International Holding (ARIH) and Food Services Company (FSC).
QFB said it “achieved positive returns and attractive IRR” on both exits.
The two new equity investment exists are in line with the bank’s strategy to ensure an optimum value from its private equity portfolio in Qatar and the region, while continuously seizing timely opportunities that guarantee substantial gains and a high return on investment.
In addition to maximising shareholders and clients’ returns, the two successful exits have boosted the bank’s capabilities to reinvest proceeds in new and promising investment opportunities that ensure further consistency of its overall portfolio returns in local, regional, and global markets.
ARIH, a Lebanese based multinational retailer of premium quality nuts, traditional confectionery, and delicacies across 45 countries, ARIH marked QFB’s debut investment venture in the food and beverage manufacturing industry when the bank acquired 15% stake in the company in 2011.
The bank later raised its shares in the company to 31.% in 2012. Since the acquisition, ARIH has emerged as a household name for nuts and snacks not only in the GCC, but also globally on the back of its strategic alliances with global FMCG players, distribution channels and duty-free operating partners.
In 2014, QFB invested a 49% stake in FSC, the leading Qatari Food & Beverages Company that operates a 16-branch network of 5 brands including Opera Patisserie, Opera Café, Opera Catering, Take Away and Kanafaji.
The company has since emerged from a midsize catering and restaurant business to an operator of a successful chain of restaurants and cafes spread across Qatar, along with providing exceptional catering for social and corporate events.
Suhaib AlMabrouk, QFB head (Private Equity & Corporate Banking) said, “We are pleased to once again achieve significant milestone through the exit of two of our legacy investments in the food and beverages industry in Qatar and the region.”
“Thanks to our innovative business approach, we have contributed to the modernisation and growth of the two companies, whilst increasing our returns attributed to our clients and investors over the past few years. I would like to congratulate all our investors on the conclusion of the new deals, and to reiterate our commitment to offering seamless investment opportunities with stable returns in Qatar and beyond.
“The QFB achieved returns from exiting its equity investments in ARIH and FSC is a testament to the success of our investment strategy. We will continue offering investors the best and most profitable Shariah compliant investment opportunities, whilst remaining the investment partner of choice for both our existing and potential clients in Qatar, the region and around the world,” AlMabrouk concluded.
Earlier this year, QFB announced its successful exit from a $31.5mn equity investment in CMRC Limited, from which the Bank achieved an internal rate of return of 19%.