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Abraaj, Colony in talks over Turkish snack retailer Simit Sarayi stake

16 Jan 2013

Simit Sarayi Turkish bagelThe Abraaj Group and Colony Capital have reportedly entered talks to buy a minority stake in Turkish pastry and tea chain Simit Sarayi.

Simit Sarayi, which roughly translates as “bagel palace”, hopes to raise about $500m according to the FT, which cited a report in Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper.

Simit is a circular, sesame seed-covered bread which the company hopes to export from Turkey to the rest of the world.

The FT quoted a person close to Colony as saying Simit president Abdullah Kavakcu wanted the business to be “the McDonald’s of the Middle East”.

It said Kavakcu was willing to step down from managing the company to achieve his goal.

In the retail sector Colony already has stakes in French restaurant and steakhouse chain Buffalo Grill and UK pub chain Punch Taverns.

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