Kharafi Group the largest private business in Kuwait has reportedly won a $930m case against Libya over breach of contract in what is being described as a landmark case.
MA Al Kharafi and Sons (Kharafi Group), owned by the Kharafi family and worth several billions of dollars, successfully sued the Libyan government after it refused to hand over land promised to the company by the former Muammar Gaddafi regime for a seaside resort in the capital, Tripoli, according to Kuwait Times.
The resort was to include a five-star hotel, apartments, villas and a shopping mall.Under the 2006 contract, Kharafi Group was to build and operate the project for 90 years before transferring it to government ownership.
The company said it spent money on feasibility studies, design works and management contracts but was yet to receive the land when in 2010 the Gaddafi regime cancelled the contract.Gaddafi was later killed during a civil war that broke out in Libya in 2011 and led to the fall of his 42-year-old regime.
Kharafi Group pursued arbitration under the Arab League’s Joint Investment Protection Agreement, which allowed the company to claim revenue for the full 90-year contract.The arbitration panel awarded Kharafi Group 1.2bn Libyan dinars ($930m).The decision is final, with no appeal process, and is believed the first of its kind in the Arab League.
Established in 1956, Kharafi Group is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and has operations throughout the Middle East and Africa, including the franchise rights to fast food chains such as KFC, Krispy Kreme, Wimpy, TGI Friday’s, Cadbury’s, Pizza Hut and Saint Cinnamon, and owns large stakes in financial institutions in Kuwait.
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