Saudi Arabia’s Tarfeeh, a restaurant subsidiary of the SEDCO Holding Group, has signed a franchise agreement with Ocean Basket, a famous South African seafood restaurant chain with a rapidly growing presence and more than 190 restaurants around the globe.

The first Ocean Basket opened in Menlyn Park, Pretoria in the late 90s, and in the words of the South African company’s team, “this phenomenal global expansion in just 17 years is due to an unshakable recipe of top quality seafood with excellent and friendly service.”

Waleed Bin Mahfouz, chairman of Tarfeeh, pointed to the lack of a dominant international seafood chain in Saudi Arabia and the huge opportunity in the segment, while Ahmed Marashde, CEO of Tarfeeh, labelled the deal “another great step in this direction”.

Grace Harding, so-called ‘ring-leader’ at Ocean Basket, highlighted the brand’s 60% market share within its niche noted that “the aim is to grow Ocean Basket’s scale and global presence towards our goal of being the most-loved family seafood restaurant in the world.”

Ocean Basket has operations across eight countries across Africa and an existing presence in the Gulf since the 2011 launch of its first restaurant in Dubai that now, under this latest franchise deal, will be followed by the launch of 10 venues in Saudi Arabia from mid-2015.

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SEDCO Holding Group operates chains including Applebee’s, Macaroni Grill and China Gate in Saudi Arabia, with CEO Anees Moumina commented that while Tarfeeh “began humbly with only one restaurant chain, it has witnessed tremendous growth over the past few years.”