Switzerland, Burger King Corporation announced today that its subsidiary,Burger King Europe GmbH, has signed a development agreement with HanaInternational Company Limited, a subsidiary of Olayan Financing Company, theSaudi and Middle Eastern arm of The Olayan Group. The agreement gives Hana the exclusive right to develop the Burger King brand in Egypt and othernorth African countries.
The first restaurant opening is planned for the first half of this year at Egypt's City Stars Mall in Cairo, one of the largest shopping malls in the region. Two more openings are expected soon after in Sharm El Sheikh, the beginning of a large expansion program planned over the next five years.
To accelerate the development of the brand in new andexisting markets, Olayan has signed an agreement with a strategic partner,the Kuwaiti Al-Shaya group, through the formation of a joint venture.
Peter Robinson, President, Burger King Europe GmbH, said,"Olayan has a proven track record of delivering strong results ininternational brand expansion programmes and we look forward to driving ourgrowth with them. We are especially pleased to announce our expansion to Egypt, one of north Africa's most important economies."
Lubna Olayan, CEO, Olayan Financing Company, said: "We areexcited by this opportunity to expand our agreement with Burger King.Olayan prides itself on having built a world-class franchising organisationfor the Middle East, and we look forward to bringing the great flame-grilledtaste to a wider market."
Olayan has held agreements with Burger King since 1991. Through its Hana subsidiary, it operates or services more than 180 Burger King restaurants in the Middle East – including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and Lebanon – and is considered the largest franchisee in the region.
Founded in 1947, the Olayan Group is a private, multinational enterprise made up of more than 50 companies and affiliated businesses. In Saudi Arabia, where the group originated, Olayan engages in product distribution, manufacturing, services and investment.
Al-Shaya is a franchisee for over 40 retail brands including Starbucks Coffee, The Body Shop and Foot Locker. The company operates more than 1,200 stores across eight Middle East countries, as well as Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Russia and Poland.
Burger King already operates in more than 65 countries and U.S. territories, and predicts opening more than 400 restaurants worldwide this year. About 90 percent of its restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades.