DUBAI, Aug. 5, 2015 — King & Spalding advised United Arab Emirates-based Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA) on the AED 31 million ($8.4 million) acquisition of the Middle East franchise operations of Morelli’s Gelato.
Marka is the first public joint stock company to focus on the retail and hospitality sector in the UAE. The acquisition, which includes five Morelli’s Gelato outlets in Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait and Dhahran, will be integrated into Marka’s dedicated food and beverage division, Marka Hospitality. The acquisition was announced July 7. Marka is set to expand the franchise by opening 17 additional Morelli’s Gelato outlets in the MENA region by 2020, including in Oman, Egypt and Lebanon.
The Dubai-based King & Spalding team advising on the transaction was led by partner Nabil Issa and senior associate Osama Audi.
“This acquisition is the most recent in a string of food, beverage and retail transactions on which our lawyers have advised, and further highlights our expertise in this rapidly growing sector,” Audi said. “King & Spalding’s reputation in the U.S. as trusted advisors to leading food and beverage companies is well established, and our Middle East team has successfully melded that expertise with our unique regional knowledge.”
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