Damac founder gets regulatory approval to take company private

Update to original $595 million offer by Hussain Sajwani-backed Maple Invest expected within two weeks

Dubai developer Hussain Sajwani is relaunching a bid to take Damac Properties private after securing approval from the securities regulator of the UAE to buy shares in the company.

Maple Invest, the investment vehicle backed by Mr Sajwani, will continue the process to acquire publicly traded shares in Damac, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

“An update to the offer submitted by Maple Invest on June 9 to acquire shares of the company will be released within 14 days,” it said on Thursday. But such updates are expected only to address the process involved in acquisition and “will not affect the material parameters of the offer, including the offer price, which remains at Dh1.30 per share”, Damac said.

The company's share price was up 2.43 per cent on Thursday at 11.49am UAE time after closing at Dh1.23 on Wednesday.

Maple Invest plans to own a minimum of 90 per cent and up to 100 per cent of Damac, it said in the June 9 statement.

Mr Sajwani resigned as the chairman of Damac before making the offer earlier this year. On June 15, the Dubai developer named vice chairman Farooq Arjomand as his replacement, while Ali Binjab was appointed as vice chairman of the company, Damac said.

Damac, which built the Middle East’s only Trump-branded golf course, has reported seven successive quarterly losses and its share price has fallen by more than 60 per cent from its most recent peak in August 2017.

The company, which has projects in the UAE, Lebanon, the UK, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, narrowed its second-quarter loss this year amid continued recovery of the UAE property market.

The company reported a loss of Dh101 million ($27.5m) in the second quarter, compared with a Dh280m loss in the same period in 2020. Revenue for the reporting period fell to Dh735.75m, from Dh1.14 billion a year earlier.

Damac, which has a market capitalisation of more than $2bn, reported booked sales of Dh2.6bn for the first six months of the year and the delivery of 2,700 units in Dubai.

Updated: September 23rd 2021, 9:16 AM