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Mubadala-backed Reef and Americana Partner to Open Cloud Kitchens Across MENA

11 Jan 2022 - The cloud kitchens will operate Reef, Americana and third-party brands as well throughout the Middle East and North Africa

UAE’s Mubadala Capital-backed Reef, the largest operator of delivery kitchens, logistics, and proximity hubs in North America, has announced a joint venture with and Americana Group (Americana), the largest food and beverage operator in the Middle East region.

The JV has been formed with the aim of opening cloud kitchens that will operate Reef, Americana and third-party brands throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

It is expected that the latest partnership will accelerate Reef’s expansion through Americana’s real estate portfolio and end-to-end value chain throughout the region.

In 2020, Mubadala Capital, a wholly owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, led a $700m funding round into Reef, along with SoftBank, Oaktree Capital Management, UBS Asset Management and Target Global.

Reef has a proximity ecosystem of over 8,000 locations and a team of more than 18,000 members. The company established its presence in the Middle East in August 2021. To date, the company has partnered with several international brands to bring its cloud kitchens concept to local neighborhoods, including MrBeast Burger in Dubai and Another Wing, which Reef globally launched in partnership with DJ Khaled, opening 165 locations in three continents.

In November last year, Reef acquired iKcon Restaurant, a UAE-based cloud kitchen company, marking the Miami-based company’s first major transaction in the region.

Americana Group meanwhile owns exclusive franchise rights for the management and operation of over 1,950 restaurants representing some of the world’s leading food and beverage brands including KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardee’s, Krispy Kreme, Wimpy, and TGI Fridays, in 13 markets across the Middle East, North Africa, and CIS.

“As Reef continues its international expansion, this highly strategic partnership is a milestone that will serve as a model for the ways our ecosystem can deliver rich market-backed content to new locations in a way and at a pace that wasn’t possible before,” said Ramez Shehadi, president of International and chief growth officer at Reef.

Amarpal Sandhu, CEO of Americana Restaurants, added, “Food tech is an exciting space and offers vast opportunities to grow our customer base. We are glad to collaborate with Reef. As technology and ordering trends continue to evolve, we believe this collaboration will bring mutual synergies and benefit in the long run.”

Gulf Business