South Africa’s seafood restaurant Ocean Basket had signed a licence agreement with a Saudi Arabian company to open 10 stores in that country, it said yesterday. In line with its global expansion plan, Ocean Basket has signed an agreement with the Arabian Entertainment Company Limited ( AECL) which is a wholly subsidiary of Saudi Economic Development Company. Currently the biggest company in Saudi Arabia’s dining franchise sector, the AECL has established over 15 casual dining outlets across the kingdom for prominent US chains such as Applebee’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grill. The company employs about 700 people . The first Ocean Basket is set to open next year in Jeddah, one of the most commercial hubs in Saudi Arabia. Ocean Basket’s company leader Grace Harding said: “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.” She said that Ocean Basket held about 60 percent market share within its niche and has 178 outlets in nine countries. – Nompumelelo Magwaza