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Sajwani resigns, offers $595m to take Damac private

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 9, 2021 | Last updated on June 9, 2021 at 11.38 pm
Hussain Sajwani, chairman of DAMAC Properties. — File photo

Maple Invest Co, an investment vehicle owned by Sajwani, offered $595 million as a conditional bid for the issued share capital of Damac not already owned by Maple and its affiliates


Dubai’s real estate tycoon Hussain Sajwani has resigned as the chairman of property developer Damac as he prepares to take the company private.

Maple Invest Co, an investment vehicle owned by Sajwani, offered $595 million as a conditional bid for the issued share capital of Damac not already owned by Maple and its affiliates.

The Dubai-based founder of Damac, directly and indirectly, controls 88.106 per cent of the property company.

Maple Invest, which is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, has “a firm intention” to acquire 100 per cent of the issued and paid-up ordinary share capital of Damac Properties, listed on Dubai Financial Market.

“There is a conflict of interests between Mr Hussain Ali Habib Sajwani (as a shareholder in Maple) and those of Damac PJSC and its shareholders (other than Maple and its affiliates)”, a statement by Alpha Star Holding III Limited on Nasdaq Dubai said.

In order to manage this conflict of interest, Sajwani has tendered his resignation as chairman and Board Director of Damac on 8 June 2021, it added.

Alpha Star Holding III Limited is the ‘issuer’ of the $500 million trust certificate due in 2022 of which Damac Real Estate Development Ltd — a fully-owned subsidiary of Damac Properties — is the ‘guarantor’.

Maple intends to increase the holding to at least 90 per cent plus 1.0 per cent so that it could exercise its right to buy out the remaining minority shareholders, it said in a statement.

Damac, listed in Dubai since 2015, would then be delisted. The developer has reported losses in 2020 and 2019 as the property market struggled with an oversupply that hammered prices for the past seven years. The construction industry will deliver an estimated 62,000 homes in Dubai this year and nearly 63,500 in 2022, which would be the most since 2009, according to consultancy firm Knight Frank LLP.

Maple said it was offering to buy out minority shareholders for Dh1.3 per share, the same as Tuesday’s closing price and giving a total value of the offer of Dh935.4 million.

The deal values Damac at $2.1 billion, at par with its market value on Tuesday. Damac shares were down 1.54 per cent at Dh1.28 in late morning trade, below the buyout offer price.

Damac will hold “a meeting of the board of directors on 13 June 2021 to appoint an independent committee of the board of Damac. The meeting will “review and approve the appointment of the legal advisor, valuer, and financial advisor for the purposes of evaluating the offer to acquire 100 per cent of the issued and paid up ordinary share capital of Damac received from Maple Invest on 8 June 2021. It will also review and assess the offer, said the statement.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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