KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
International Financial Advisors KSCC (Kuwait) ("IFA" or the "Company") announced today that it has advised on and successfully arranged the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") between MS Retail KSC ("MSR"), a leading developer and operator of specialty retail and entertainment stores in Kuwait, and Abdul Mohsen Al Hokair Company for Tourism and Development JSC of Saudi Arabia ("Al Hokair"), a hospitality and entertainment group with significant operations across the Kingdom and the GCC.
The intent of the MOU is for MSR and Al Hokair to financially and operationally partner with each other for the purpose of developing one or more flagship stores in key cities across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the "BAROUE" brand. BAROUE is a unique concept developed and operated by MSR in Kuwait that integrates specialty retail and entertainment targeted at 12 year olds and under. BAROUE stores typically have areas exceeding 6'000 sqm and are located in prime Malls where they constitute a key driver of foot traffic.
Al Hokair's track record in Saudi Arabia is very much aligned with MSR's vision to develop and expand the BAROUE concept beyond Kuwait, especially into the fast-growing Saudi Market which offers exceptional scale and profitability in the amusement sector. In addition to its entertainment business, Al Hokair is a major player in the hospitality sector with a portfolio of leading global and regional brands of Hotels and Restaurants present in Saudi Arabia and across the GCC. As recognition of its achievements, Al Hokair has recently received two prestigious awards from the Saudi Commission of Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) as the best group in both the Hotel and Family Entertainment categories.
Mohammed Al-Sayer, MSR's CEO, said: "When I went to Riyadh and together with Majed Al Hokair, CEO of Al Hokair, visited their entertainment centers in landmark malls, it became clear to us that Al Hokair was the right group to team up and partner with in Saudi Arabia to study, develop and operate our BAROUE stores, which are designed to cater for the recreational and retail needs of 12 year olds and under, a consumer segment with phenomenal growth prospects. Our Saudi partners have demonstrated the highest level of interest and cooperation in working together with us to procure the retail space and operational facilities needed for our expansion in Saudi Arabia. We are excited and committed to working together with Al Hokair for many years to come."
Jean Habre, General Manager of Entertainment at Al Hokair, was quoted as saying: "Al Hokair is a company dedicated to bringing to market the most successful and innovative entertainment concepts, and we view MSR as a credible and much desired partner with a portfolio comprising, among others, MINOPOLIS, a unique metropolis designed for children aged between 4 and 12 years. We believe Al Hokair's experience in developing similar projects will be instrumental in facilitating our and MSR's joint efforts in this regard. Both companies have similar philosophies when it comes to understanding the entertainment business, and we believe this will be key to the success of our joint efforts and projects."
Commenting on the deal, Bassel Attieh, Head of Investments and Executive Vice President at IFA, which acted as the sole financial advisor to MSR, added: "We are highly confident that MSR and Al Hokair's partnership in Saudi Arabia will develop into a very successful and profitable business. Today's deal is another achievement for IFA's team of professionals who have yet again demonstrated their ability to structure, execute and raise financing for cross-border advisory mandates on behalf of clients"
International Financial Advisors KSCC (Kuwait) is a leading provider of financial advisory, securities trading and asset management services. IFA is the flagship company of an investment conglomerate with significant presence in hospitality, real estate, asset management and financial services. The Company operates globally with a special focus on the GCC, South Africa and Asia. IFA is listed on both the Kuwait Stock Exchange (ticker: IFA KK) and the Dubai Financial Market (ticker: IFA DB) and its conglomerate has a combined market capitalization in excess of US$ 2 billion. For more information, visit http://www.ifakuwait.com.
This press release may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such "anticipate," "estimate," "expect,""project," "intend," "plan," "believe" and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.
Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.
Neither IFA, nor MSR nor Al Hokair undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if they later become aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures IFA, MSR or Al Hokair may make on related subjects in their regulatory and corporate filings.