Semsom, a regional restaurant chain of Lebanese cuisine with a modern twist, has mandated FFA Private Bank’s Investment Banking division in order to advise on funding the company’s expansion into the US market.
Semsom offers a revisited Lebanese cuisine which combines traditional and modern recipes. Since its establishment in 2008, Semsom has expanded through both company-operated branches in Lebanon and franchises in Saudi Arabia (14 by 2016) and Kuwait (4 by 2016), with additional restaurants scheduled to open soon in Oman and the UAE.
With revenues of over $660 billion, the US restaurant market lacks a Lebanese cuisine dominant player. As the trend towards healthy ethnic food increases, Semsom is looking to seize the opportunity to become the first Lebanese restaurant chain in the US. With its unique concept adapted to the US Fast Casual Restaurant industry, the fastest growing segment within the restaurant industry, the company is planning to grow through both self-operated and franchised outlets, to reach more than 100 restaurants in the US by 2020.
Semsom was created by Treats SAL, a company that develops and operates restaurant concepts. Its CEO, Christine Sfeir, brought the franchise of Dunkin Donuts, a leading global donuts and coffee chain, in Lebanon. Mrs. Sfeir has received several awards including “Best Businesswoman in the Middle East” in 2011 and has just been listed in the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women for the third year in a row.
To finance its US launch, Semsom is seeking to raise $6M in two phases of capital injection to support its growth.
FFA Private Bank is a leading private and investment bank in the Mena region, headquartered in Beirut’s central district with a subsidiary in the Dubai International Financial Center.