The firm has filed an application with the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to list on the KSE, and plans to make 88.95 million shares available. It did not disclose a target price for the shares.
If successful, the move will mark the first listing on the Kuwaiti bourse since 2008, when Viva Kuwait launched its IPO. Despite the sale six years ago, the Capital Markets Authority only approved Viva’s listing this year.
“Today’s announcement marks a major milestone for the company and the Gulf’s private sector. Upon Mezzan’s successful listing on the KSE, investors will have a unique opportunity to invest in the Gulf’s growing food, beverage, and FMCG sectors. We look forward to the CMA’s approval and the listing of the company,” said Khalid Jassim Al Wazzan, chairman of Mezzan Holding, in a statement announcing the planned IPO.
The company operates 29 subsidiaries in seven countries, and last year made a profit of US$487m. It has around 130,000 square metres of manufacturing facilities in Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, producing food, beverage and other FMCG products, including 100,000 meals a day through its catering division.
Mezzan gets wings
Last year Mezzan acquired UAE beverage distributor Unitra Mets Group for an undisclosed sum, completing the purchase in January this year. The deal gave Mezzan the distribution rights for Red Bull in the UAE, along with other brands including San Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and 100 Plus.
“We are excited about this acquisition; it expands our strategic partnerships with globally renowned brands and strengthens our foothold in one of the key markets in the Gulf,” said Mezzan’s Al Wazzan in January.
Mezzan also handles distribution for Green Giant, Pillsbury, Sara Lee, Betty Crocker and Tabasco products, and supplies Starbucks with a number of product lines. Its own brands include Al Wazzan and Sun White Rice, Al Wazzan Tuna, Khazan meat products, Dania canned foods, and Kitco snacks.
In 2012, Mezzan CEO Garry Walsh predicted Kuwait would see the highest food sales growth out of all the Gulf states, thanks to the government’s food subsidies and cash payments to Kuwaiti citizens. He said he expected growth to average 8% per year for the next five to 10 years.