UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. Lagardère Travel Retail has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake and majority stake in the restaurant business of HWH Hospitality Investments in Dubai for €74 million.
The move will see the two companies’ locations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) integrated into a single business, called Lagardère-HWH Travel Retail, with the deal expected to be finalized by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Lagardère Travel Retail will integrate HWH’s F&B business portfolio at DXB (under the Creative Table Holdings corporate name) into its operations. These include 13 existing restaurants and a pipeline of other planned openings.
The network includes brands such as Fix, Roti Bai, Treehouse Juicery, Flour + Stone, Tranzeet and Grabb’it. Lagardère Travel Retail already operates the Daily DXB, a bespoke concept at T3 that showcases Dubai’s history alongside street food in over 600m² of space.
This decision represents a step forward in Lagardère Travel Retail’s ambition to grow within DXB and consolidate its presence in the restaurant business in the Middle East. He noted that the founders of HWH Mustafa and Talha Al Hashimi and the management teams “would continue to provide leadership and help drive the combined business at Dubai Airport”.
HWH Hospitality Investments was founded in 2012 by Mustafa and Talha Al Hashimi with a mantra of “disrupting the dining experience of passing passengers”.
They arrived on the scene by opening a pizzeria designed like a Milanese tram at DXB. The project not only heralded HWH’s entry into the airport scene, but also defined its philosophy and image as an innovator and disruptor. Many other innovative concepts have since followed.
In 2019, HWH won two global FAB Awards (hosted by The Moodie Davitt Report) – its Flour + Stone concept was named Airport Food to Go of the Year, and S34 received Airport Food & Beverage Offer Best Reflecting Sense of Square. This follows its 2018 award for Airport Coffee, Tea or Other Soft Drink of the Year for its Treehouse Juicery.
Vincent Romet, CEO of Lagardère Travel Retail France and COO KSA and Middle East, said: “We are delighted to add the network of beautifully designed HWH concepts and its diverse tasty dining offerings to our portfolio in the Middle East.
“The founders have done an incredible job creating an eclectic mix of restaurants and it’s a privilege to continue to work with them and build on their commitment to innovation and excellence to serve more travelers worldwide. This partnership is a testament to Dubai’s vision and leadership, and an important step for us in consolidating our F&B expertise in the region and developing the very successful partnership we have with the airport. from Dubai.
Click here to learn more about HWH’s portfolio and the founders’ comments on the company’s philosophy in a 2019 interview.
Lagardère Travel Retail’s Foodservice business line is present in 23 countries around the world, with more than 1,000 points of sale and a turnover of more than 1 billion euros in 2019. The foodservice division was rewarded by eight FAB Awards in 2019 and by four FAB Superstars Awards (also hosted by The Moodie Davitt report) in 2021.
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