Damas raises $255m, targets $2b turnover

DUBAI — Damas Group, a leading jewellery retail chain in the UAE, Middle East and South Asia, yesterday said a syndication it has floated to raise funds to drive global expansion was 1.82 times oversubscribed and has generated $255 million.

By Issac John (Deputy Business Editor)

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Published: Tue 10 Jul 2007, 9:03 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:18 PM

Announcing the success of the syndication it has floated in association with top international banks BNP Paribas (the book runner and mandated lead arranger) and Gulf International Bank, the group said it was also on track to double its global retail network to over 750 and turnover to $2 billion in the next five years.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Tawhid Abdullah, Managing Director of Damas, said also on the cards is a IPO of between Dh3.5 billion and Dh4.5 billion by the end of the year when new regulations allowing founders to keep up to 70 per cent of their family-owned company's equity were implemented.

The 100-year old jewellery and fashion group currently has its global fashion and jewellery network spanning USA, Italy, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Maldives, India, Lebanon, and throughout the GCC countries with over 386 sales points worldwide. The fund raised at Libor plus 1.30 per cent per annum will be used to boost growth and consolidate the regional and international presence of Damas. He said the group planned to utilise the raised amount to propel growth and expand its regional and international retail base. With a turnover of over $1 billion, the group has demonstrated rapid growth doubling its turnover from 2004 to 2006, he pointed out.

Abdullah said the expansion of the retail chain would be very profitable and would contribute substantially to the bottom line. “This is a strategic move to spread the risk and rewards of our operations. With the economy booming in most parts of the world, particularly in South Asia and the Middle East, the expansion will offer a good chance to increase the brand capitalisation of Damas, while adding to profitability. To augment further growth, the Group will actively consider floating an IPO in the near future,” he said.

He said a joint venture with Emaar Industries and investments for manufacturing jewellery products in DMCC will also be going on stream soon.

“Our long-term vision is to make Damas a global player in the jewellery trade in terms of manufacturing capability, distribution and retail."

BNP Paribas has partnered with Damas for the second time to lead arrange the successful syndicated facility.

The syndication has brought keen interest from local, regional and international banks which contributed significantly to the successful oversubscription of this syndication.

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