Damac hires advisers to review Dh2.2b’s offer to go private

Dubai: Damac Properties has hired advisers to review an offer to make the Dubai property developer private.

An independent valuer and financial adviser has been appointed to help the board determine the financial fairness of the offer from the perspective of shareholders, Damac said in a statement to the stock exchange on Sunday.

Billionaire Hussain Sajwani has offered to take the rest of Damac privately at a discount of nearly 45 per cent from the developer’s local listing in 2015. The bid was the last in a series of similar deals in the UAE, which tried to buy out minority shareholders at a discount.

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Maple Invest, a Sajwani-owned investment vehicle, has offered Dh2.2bn, which it calls “a voluntary conditional offer for the issued share capital of Damac not yet owned by Maple and its subsidiaries.” Sajwani, who owns a 72 percent stake in the developer, has resigned as Damac’s chairman to avoid a conflict of interest.

Damac’s announcement on June 9 caused a setback among some investors who questioned the timing of the plan, just as the real estate market began to improve after seven years of decline.

The board of Damac has acquired the law firm Al Tamimi & Co. appointed and said that the supplementary offer document will be published this month. Also, Sofyan Al Khatib, while remaining as a board member, will not be part of the discussion on the offer due to his ‘commitment’ to the former chairman, Damac said.