Abu Dhabi's ADQ to invest $1 billion to help retailer Lulu expand in Egypt

DUBAI (Reuters) - ADQ, a holding company owned by the Abu Dhabi government, said on Monday it has signed an agreement with regional retailer Lulu International to help fund its expansion in Egypt with an investment of up to $1 billion.

ADQ and Lulu will work to develop up to 30 hypermarkets and 100 express mini-market stores, as well as logistics hubs, distribution and fulfilment centres to strengthen the retailer’s e-commerce business across Egypt, ADQ said in a statement.

ADQ’s CEO Mohamed Hassan al-Suwaidi said in a statement the agreement with Lulu International reflects ADQ’s wider commitment to investing in Egypt, following an agreement to set up the joint investment platform with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt late last year.

The platform, worth $20 billion, aims to establish joint investment projects, as well as specialised funds and investment tools in several key sectors such as food and agriculture, healthcare, mobility and logistics, and utilities.

“Egypt is a very important growth market for us, and we see great potential for our future business there,” said Yusuff Ali, Lulu’s chairman.

ADQ invested $1 billion in Lulu earlier this year, two sources familiar with the talks said. ADQ did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reuters reported on Oct. 7, citing sources, that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is in early discussions to buy a stake in supermarket chain Lulu Group International.

ADQ, which was established in 2018, owns assets such as Abu Dhabi Ports, Abu Dhabi Airport and bourse operator ADX. It has also built up a portfolio of food and agriculture businesses and recently took a 22% stake in Dubai-based courier Aramex.

Reporting by Saeed Azhar, editing by Louise Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise