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Thu 24 Mar 2016 01:36 PM

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Dubai's Marka approves $68m bond sale, reports $15m loss

Retail firm shareholders approve bond issuance to help fund future acquisitions

Dubai's Marka approves $68m bond sale, reports $15m loss

Dubai retail group Marka Holding on Wednesday announced that its board had approved an AED250 million ($68 million) bond sale to finance future acquisitions.

It came as the company reported an AED55.9 million ($15.2 million) loss for the period from June 2014 to December 2015, following a buying spree in which it which it snapped up Retailcorp, a unit of Istithmar World; restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi; a majority stake in children’s entertainment group Cheeky Monkeys, and sports memorabilia firm Icons.

In a statement to the Dubai Borse on Wednesday, Marka said the board approved a $68 million bond issuance to shareholders with an interest rate not exceeding 7 percent.

The issue term would be for five years, and the listing will be done on the Dubai Financial Market.

The transfer price will be set at a maximum of 30 fils, the company said in its statement.

Marka Holding listed on the borse in September 2014. In its first full set of accounts published on the Dubai Financial Market yesterday, Marka reported revenue of AED214.8 million ($58.4 million) for the period to December 2015 – of which AED130.5 million was from sales of merchandise and AED84.3 million was from food and beverage sales.

However, the company also reported total losses of AED55.9 million ($15.2 million), including AED13.5 million ($3.7 million) on acquisition costs and AED7 million ($1.8 million) on rent.

Marka said it expected to continue its acquisition spree this year and to become profitable in 2016.

Marka was set up to invest in shops and restaurants across the GCC. During the period, it reported, key openings have included a Champions League restaurant in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall and a Harper’s Bazaar Cafe due to open shortly in Dubai Design District.