UAE’s GMG ventures into F&B retail with acquisition of Géant from Urban Food

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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UAE-based leading family-owned holding company Gulf Marketing Group (GMG) has ventured into the food retail category with the acquisition of Géant, a chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets that operates in the UAE.

The acquisition gives GMG exclusive rights to expand Géant operations into the Middle East. Géant is a part of Groupe Casino, a French retailing giant with a turnover of more than $38 billion.

GMG is acquiring Géant’s current UAE retail footprint from Urban Foods by Dubai Holding. This will include a total of 18 hypermarket and supermarket locations across the UAE, with the new openings featuring some of Groupe Casino’s other brands such as Franprix and Monoprix, to which GMG will also have exclusive rights to expand.

In 2021, GMG redesigned its business into four verticals, such as GMG Sports, GMG Food, GMG Health, and GMG Consumer Goods. The latest acquisition falls under the GMG Consumer Goods vertical. Meanwhile, GMG continues to grow its original food brands Farm Fresh and Klassic, as well as being a distributor for popular food brands such as McCain, Mama Sita’s, and Shan.

Mohammed A Baker
Mohammed A Baker
Deputy Chairman & CEO

“This acquisition is a milestone in our history as we venture into the food retail category. In doing so, we are able to cover the entire consumer journey from food manufacturing and distributing to retail. Moreover, the diverse portfolio of Groupe Casino’s supermarket brands will allow us to cater to all categories of consumers, from the price-conscious to those desiring more premium and specialty products.”

The Géant deal follows another high-profile GMG retail acquisition of Royal Sporting House in 2020. Recently, GMG also acquired the rights to manage, distribute, and retail the Nike brand in Egypt and Iraq starting in Q3 2022, contributing to a diversified sports portfolio that already covers over 400 stores across the MENA region and Asia.

“Our acquisition comes at a time when the Middle East’s food economy is undergoing a major transformation. Consumer preference has shifted to locally-sourced food items and sustainable food options, while governments are simultaneously exploring ways to enhance food safety and promote food security in line with their national development visions. In the coming years, our intention is to cover the entire food consumption chain from farm to fork”, Mr. Baker added.

GMG has introduced over 120 brands into its markets to date. Last year, the company announced plans to double its global workforce by 2025 as part of a new business strategy that reaffirms its commitment to encouraging people to live healthier, more active lifestyles.

Related: ADQ acquires majority stake in fresh produce firm ‘Unifrutti’