NZX-listed fast food company BurgerFuel Worldwide (NZX:BFW) has sold the Master License agreement for the rights to BurgerFuel Iraq.
BurgerFuel chief executive international markets Chris Mason, who is based in Dubai, said, “We’re moving forward in our plans to establish BurgerFuel in the Middle East by adding Iraq to our other territories in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
“Whilst Iraq poses new challenges - it's another important region and we think early establishment will allow time for us to eventually open a number of restaurants there.”
The first BurgerFuel in Iraq will open in Sulaymaniyah, which lies in the Kurdish speaking region of Northern Iraq known as Iraqi Kurdistan.
The area is the only legally defined region within Iraq that has its own separate democratic government for its population of nearly five million people.
The Iraqi consortium that has bought the rights for BurgerFuel Iraq also own 50% of Iraq’s North Bank financial institution as well as 50% of Pepsi Iraq.
With Pepsi being the dominant soft drink in Iraq, the consortium is looking forward to adding BurgerFuel to their stable of successful brands.
One of the new principals, Raad Braich, is already very familiar with the BurgerFuel brand and adds the Master Franchise agreement for BurgerFuel in Iraq to his interests as a board member of the Iraqi National Business Council.
“We’ve found the Iraq partnership an interesting prospect, with strong and established business partners who approached us already having a good understanding of the BurgerFuel brand as well as the local Iraqi market” said BurgerFuel Worldwide chief executive, Josef Roberts.
“We are interested in all global territories and we seek to take advantage of our non-American, pure New Zealand positioning, wherever we can.”
BurgerFuel is part of the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Beachheads programme designed for high-growth New Zealand companies.
Other sites due to open soon in the Middle East will be located in the Dubai Mall (UAE) and in the Al Shatea Mall (Saudi Arabia).