Shakey’s eyes bigger slice of Middle East with UAE deal

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SHAKEY’S Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc. (SPAVI) is hoping to grab a slice of the United Arab Emirates market, as it signed a deal with Dubai-based Aljeel Capital LLC. to open at least 10 stores in the next five years.

In a statement on Thursday, SPAVI said its subsidiary Shakey’s Pizza Regional Foods Limited signed the area development agreement with Aljeel Capital, its second international franchise.

The listed firm holds the perpetual rights to the Shakey’s brand for the Middle East, Asia (except for Japan and Malaysia), China, Australia, and Oceania.

The first store in UAE is scheduled for opening in the first half in 2018, and will be located in Dubai.

In December, SPAVI signed an agreement with a franchisee in Kuwait to put up at least 10 stores in the Middle Eastern country. The company said it is on track to open its first store in Kuwait by the third quarter of this year.

“Dubai, UAE, and the rest of the Middle East are great markets for us. Not only are there strong and welcoming Filipino communities which love the Shakey’s brand and are excited about experiencing it away from home, but there are also tremendous growth opportunities within the mainstream markets there,” SPAVI President and Chief Executive Officer Vicente L. Gregorio was quoted as saying in a statement.

For his part, Aljee Capital Chief Executive Officer Firas Hurieh cited the opportunities in the region.

“We are excited about this partnership and more thrilled to bring a solid brand such as Shakey’s to the UAE as there is a huge opportunity to target a wide customer base and grow the brand in the next few years,” Mr. Hurieh was quoted as saying.

The first Shakey’s store in the Philippines opened in 1975, and has since expanded to 189 stores as of the end of March 2017.

Earnings of SPAVI gained 25.67% year on year in the first quarter of 2017, to P172.83 million compared to the P137.53 million it delivered during the same period a year ago.

Shares in SPAVI fell by 52 centavos or 3.84% to close at P13.02 apiece on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia