NBK Capital, a subsidiary of the National Bank of Kuwait, has acquired a 49 percent stake in Shakespeare and Co, a casual dining chain headquartered in the UAE.
The investment was made through NBK Capital Equity Partners Fund II, the firm's second private equity fund focusing on growth investments in middle market companies across the MENA region.
Established by the Saad Family, Shakespeare and Co opened its first branch on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road over 12 years ago and has since grown to 17 company owned and operated outlets in the UAE, and one in the United States, as well as franchise locations in Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Oman.
Dr Edward Saad, chairman of Shakespeare and Co, said: "This partnership with NBK Capital is a significant strategic step forward for Shakespeare as we accelerate our expansion regionally and internationally.
"We are very proud of our accomplishments and success over the years, and we look forward to the next chapter in our evolution."
Amjad Ahmad, senior managing director and head of alternative investments at NBK Capital, added: "Our investment in Shakespeare and Co is consistent with our strategy of investing in middle market companies operating in sectors with strong fundamentals.
"The company has built an excellent concept which we plan to grow and develop together over the coming years."
Samer Khalidi, executive director at NBK Capital, said: "Shakespeare and Co is a highly successful concept. Its recognised and respected brand, and positioning in the market are major strengths that the partners will leverage to further expand throughout the MENA region and beyond."