Saudi gourmet chain Bateel recruits partner for expansion

Workers package custom-order dates at the company's factory in Dubai. Amy Leang / The National
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The Saudi Arabian gourmet confectionery producer and restaurant chain Bateel said yesterday it had partnered with a private equity group backed by LVMH to help it expand internationally.

The tie-up with Bateel is L Capital Asia’s “first transaction” in the Middle East, according to a statement from the companies yesterday.

On Tuesday media reported that LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s private equity arm L Capital is in talks to acquire a stake in Bateel, four people with knowledge of the matter said.

L Capital, backed by the LVMH Group and the billionaire chairman Bernard Arnault’s family holding company, is seeking a minority stake in the Riyadh-based firm, the people said, asking not to be identified as talks are private.

Yesterday Ata Atmar, managing director of Bateel, said in a statement: “We are poised to accelerate Bateel’s expansion beyond our current core markets in the Gulf”.

Bateel has a presence in 14 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East including in the UAE. It has its own date groves at Al Ghat in central Saudi Arabia.

The company has also launched a chain of cafes and bakeries for gourmet food and beverages.

“With the world seeking healthier and newer options, we believe the Bateel franchise has tremendous potential, and we hope to work closely with the company to take the brand to more people across the globe,” said Ravi Thakran, chairman and managing partner of L Capital Asia.

L Capital, based in Singapore, was formed in 2009 and focuses on investments in retail and luxury industries, among others.

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