Saudi Arabian retailer that owns the franchises for Gap Inc. and Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) in the kingdom, Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair has said it is planning an acquisition in the US or UK, Reuters has reported. The company, also known as Al Hokair Fashion Retail, is looking at three to five targets and aims to close a deal in the financial year that runs from April, Rob Cass, the company’s strategy and investor relations director, told reporters in Dubai. “We open a store every 18 hours somewhere in the world, which means that the partner needs to be like-minded with the rate at which we grow,” he said. Al Hokair, which operates in 20 countries including in the former Soviet states and North Africa, bought Spanish retailer Blanco for €11m ($15m), Cass said. The company plans to expand the brand outside Spain, adding 50 stores each year through franchises, he said.
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