Aldar's Provis eyes acquisitions in push for UAE and GCC expansion

Exclusive: The property management arm of Abu Dhabi developer is negotiating deals to acquire rival firms and could make an announcement soon

Sameer Barakat, executive director, estate management at Provis, says company is looking for acquisitions. Victor Besa / The National 
Sameer Barakat, executive director, estate management at Provis, says company is looking for acquisitions. Victor Besa / The National 

Provis, a fully-owned property management arm of Abu Dhabi’s biggest listed developer Aldar Properties, is eyeing acquisitions of rival firms in the UAE and the broader GCC market as it aims for a 20 to 25 per cent year-on-year rise in revenues this year, a senior company executive said.

“Our growth is derived from two aspects: organically, by winning bids which are transparent; and inorganically, by acquiring other businesses,” Sameer Barakat, executive director estate management at Provis told The National at Cityscape in Abu Dhabi. “We are in talks and hopefully, in coming weeks and months, we will announce big acquisitions of existing property management companies and owners’ associations.”

Provis, which is Abu Dhabi's biggest property management company, will look for acquisitions in the other emirates in the UAE, the second-biggest Arabian Gulf economy, and other states within the economic block of GCC.

The potential acquisitions, Mr Barakat said, are currently being evaluated by Aldar Investments, another unit of the parent company.

“What I can say is that the sky is the limit,” he said, when asked what the potential size of acquisitions the company is looking at might be.

“Aldar has the powers to acquire, if you see the acquisition made lately."

Last year Aldar acquired real estate assets of Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company in a Dh3.7 billion deal, one of the largest property acquisitions in the country’s history. Aldar Investments earlier this year said it is acquiring full ownership of Etihad Plaza and Etihad Airways Centre from the UAE’s national flag-carrier Etihad Airways in a transaction worth Dh1.2bn.

"Aldar wants to grow and not grow alone but with its subsidiaries,” Mr Barakat added.

The company is now looking to acquire more assets to strengthen its portfolio and is open partnerships to sell and develop new property projects in Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, Maan Al Awlaqi, Aldar’s executive director of commercial told The National on Tuesday.

Provis, which provides services from sales and leasing to property consultancy and management for developers, owners’ association consultancy and management and clubhouse and lifestyle management, has set up an office in Dubai and aims to start working with major developers in the emirate, especially on providing lease and property sale services.

With the decline in the UAE real estate prices in the past two years due to a slowdown in the global economy, lower oil prices and muted demand, and as more property projects come online developers, especially small to medium-sized property companies, are looking to cut costs and hire firms such as Provis to manage their properties.

Provis, which has a current portfolio of more than 13,500 units under property management and over 14,000 units managed by owners’ associations, expects significant growth in both the number of units and its client base in 2019.

It expects to see at least 20 to 25 per cent rise in revenues in 2019 alone, Mr Barakat said, declining to give the dirham figure of expected revenues.

The company plans to focus on the UAE and GCC markets for the next three to five years and will look to expand its footprint beyond the region afterwards.

Khidmah, Aldar’s facilities management subsidiary, has been present in Saudi Arabia for the past three years and Provis intends to capitalise on its relations with the clients such as Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producing company, and bid for new mandates in the kingdom, he said.

Within the UAE, Provis is already managing all the residential and commercial assets of Aldar and has a mandate to look after the residential assets of property developer Miral and some third-party medium-sized property owners.

The company is also managing properties for some of government entities including the Federal Auqaf department in Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates and has client relationships with all the “blue-chip companies” including banks and big conglomerates, Mr Barakat added.

Published: April 18, 2019 07:55 AM


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