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 once again demonstrated their ability to 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 and the Dubai Financial Market and its conglomerate has a combined market capitalization in excess of $2bn.
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