Damac announces plan for $500m London IPO

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Dubai-based property developer Damac has formally announced its intention to float on London's stock exchange with a view to raising up to $500m.

The company has said that it will offer shares in the form of Global Depository Receipts (GDRs), which will trade on the London Stock Exchange, with each GDR worth the equivalent of three Damac shares.

The shares are being offered by a pair of companies controlled by Damac chairman and founder Hussain Sajwani - Al Firdous Holding and Sahira Company. The deal would allow Sajwani to cash in some of his existing investment without burdening the company with greater debt.

In documents filed by the company, it said it has delivered 8,887 properties containing more than 9m square foot since setting up in 2002 with a total project value of $3.1bn. It has a further 21,175 units currently under construction, equating to 25.9m sqft of saleable area in six countries, with scheduled completion dates ranging from 2013 to the end of 2017.

The filing shows that Damac made a profit of $212.1m last year on sales of $692m, and in the first half of this year it achieved a gross profit of $332m on sales of $631.9m. It also said that at June 30, it had total assets worth $2.3bn.

The executive management team will include Sajwani, CFO Adil Taqi and managing director Ziad El Chaar.

"This land adjoins the land already owned by the Group for the Akoya by DAMAC project," the company said in a statement.

"The purchased portion of this newly-acquired land will comprise luxury villas, semi-detached villas (both serviced and non-serviced) and commercial elements. The group intends to develop the leased portion of the land, which is subject to a 30-year lease agreement, into a landscaped park for the community of the Akoya by DAMAC project."

Damac is being advised on the float by Citigroup and by Deutsche Bank.

Commenting on its announcement, Sajwani said: "In just over a decade we have built DAMAC into one of the most prominent and successful luxury residential developers and brands in the Middle East, with nearly 10,000 customers from 120 countries.

"A GDR listing on the London Stock Exchange is the next step in our evolution as we take the company to the global markets and allow international investors the opportunity to participate in our continuing success and ambitious plans for growth.

"We have created a strong platform and believe that we are well positioned to take advantage of the significant opportunities we see to further expand our proven business model in Dubai, as well as in other key markets in the Middle East and the IPO represents a key stage in that process."

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