Dubai’s latest unicorn Kitopi on Tuesday announced the acquisition of leading regional food and beverage group AWJ, making it one of the largest F&B transactions of the GCC region.

Known as a cloud kitchen, Kitopi is a tech-powered, multi-brand restaurant with over 100 brands, operating in 200-plus locations across five markets.

Founded in Dubai in January 2018, Kitopi has more than 5,000 employees, and has offices in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. It also operates its engineering hub in Krakow, Poland, its global customer experience centre in Dubai, and its Robotics Hub in Denmark.

While AWJ, a holding company behind brands such as Operation Falafel, Catch 22, Awani, Sushi Do and more has a portfolio of more than 10 brands and 32-plus outlets across the UAE and Saudi Arabia and franchises in New York and London. The Dubai-based AWJ employs over 1,300 workers.

The companies, however, refused to disclose the size of the deal.

Kitopi will appoint a new AWJ CEO. However, the original team, which led to its success will be retained and operate as a separate vertical to Kitopi’s on-demand business.

“The co-founders and leaders of AWJ have done a remarkable job in building its iconic brands and growing them across borders,” said Mohamad Ballout, CEO and co-founder of Kitopi.

Manhal Naser, former Group CEO and co-founding director of AWJ, said it is now time for a new chapter as Mohamed Ballout and his team are best positioned to take AWJ to the next level.

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