ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies, will invest up to $1 billion in Abu Dhabi-based retail chain Lulu International Holdings to help the company expand its operations in Egypt.
The companies will work together to develop 30 hypermarkets, 100 express shops, logistics hubs and distribution and fulfilment centres across the Arab world’s most populous country, they said on Monday.
“Our agreement with Lulu International Holdings reflects our wider commitment to investing in Egypt, following the announcement of our joint investment platform with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt late last year,” said ADQ chief executive Mohamed Al Suwaidi.
He said the opening of several retail shops in phases would provide significant socio-economic benefits to local communities in the country and improve the quality and range of products available to Egyptians.
ADQ and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt announced a $20bn platform last year to invest in several economic sectors, including health care, food and agriculture, mobility and logistics.
“Egypt is a very important growth market for us and we see great potential for our future business there. Our agreement with ADQ will better position us to continue our rapid expansion of our operations across Egypt,” said Lulu chairman Yusuff Ali.
The deal is also expected to create 12,000 jobs in Egypt.
Lulu currently operates 194 hypermarkets and shopping malls across the GCC, Egypt and the Far East and employs more than 55,000 people.
It also has sourcing operations and food processing units in the US, UK, Spain, Africa, China and other countries.
In Egypt, the company operates two hypermarkets in Cairo, a Lulu spokesman told The National.
ADQ was set up in 2018 and holds stakes in companies across key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy such as tourism and hospitality, aviation, transport, logistics, industrial, property, media, health care, agri-foods and financial services.
Some of the companies it owns include the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Abu Dhabi Airports, Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Rail, Seha, insurer Daman, media companies Abu Dhabi Media and twofour54, as well as the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.
ADQ acquired 22.25 per cent of the Middle East’s biggest courier company, Aramex, last month. It also launched a new organisation to manage the procurement of healthcare products in Abu Dhabi and acquired a 50 per cent stake in Al Dahra Holding, an Abu Dhabi animal feed and essential food commodities company, in May.
Last week, ADQ and the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund announced plans to invest $2.1bn in Adnoc’s gas pipeline assets.