Atlanta, GA — Stocks of Chick-fil-A (NYSE: CHKN) skyrocketed in after-hours trading after a leaked memo revealed that the third most popular American restaurant chain was sold to interests close to the Saudi Crown. Saudi Arabian businessman Haldun Ganim (59), who made is fortunes in the plastic fabrication business and is a frequent guest of the House of Saud, purchased the chicken giant for USD 27 billion cash. The transaction, which happened in secret last week, is the largest transaction of its kind.
When news of the buyout reached the media, it set off a buying frenzy for the already hot stock. Twice during the day, trading halted due to suspicious commerce patterns. A spokesperson for Halid Enterprises, LTD., the holding company run by Mr. Ganim, said the strategic purchase adds “tremendous value” to their portfolio.
“It’s no secret that the Chick-fil-A brand is a household name in America,” said Halid Enterprises America spokesperson Bethany Milbright speaking from the cover of the traditional Saudi dress a hajib. “Many of Chick-fil-A’s values are those of the Saudis. However, Mr. Ganim has spoken with the crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, and he plans on taking our restaurants into new, culturally appropriate themes.”
A Perfect Fit
Many of the Chick-fil-A’s values are influenced by the religious beliefs of its late founder, S. Truett Cathy, a devout Southern Baptist. All Chick-fil-A restaurants close on Sundays, as well as on Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2012, COO Dan Cathy’s public statements in opposition to same-sex marriage became the subject of public controversy.
According to a memo released later in the day by Halid, the company plans on shifting its closure days from Sunday to Friday and will announce a call to prayer five times a day in each of its 2400 locations. Also, women working will be allowed to work in the restaurants, providing they wear “conservative and modest uniforms.”
The memo didn’t specify what was meant by “conservative and modest uniforms.” And anyone suspected of being LGBTQ will be immediately disciplined and terminated. The latter rule is not a change from the current Chick-fil-A policy.