By Staff writer
Istithmar subsidiary is one of the largest retail companies in the UAE’s sporting goods sector
Marka, a UAE-based retail and hospitality firm, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Retailcorp UAE, a subsidiary of Istithmar, a Dubai World company.
The announcement follows the company’s December 2014 agreement to bring the company into its portfolio in a deal valued at around AED220 million ($59.89 million).
Jamal Al Hai, chairman of Marka, said: “We are delighted to have finalised the acquisition of Retailcorp, one of the largest retail companies in the UAE’s sporting goods sector.
"This deal is in line with our strategy to establish a diverse portfolio of assets and successful businesses. It bolsters and diversifies Marka’s revenue sources, our bottom line, and the value we bring to our shareholders.”
Marka said it will invest and grow Retailcorp’s existing business with a goal to achieve double digit growth over the next 12-18 months.
Marka is already in talks with a number of organisations to open new stores and grow Retailcorp’s existing retail footprint, it said in a statement.
Marka’s acquisition gives the company ownership of a network of 15 sporting goods outlets and has the rights to sell sports brands such as Nike, Puma, Reebok and adidas.
“We are confident that completion of this acquisition will have an immediate positive impact on Marka’s revenues and profits. It will position Marka to become operationally profitable in 2015 - its first full year of operations - which in turn will reflect positively on Marka and its approximate 6,000 shareholders,” said Khaled Almheiri, vice-chairman and managing director of Marka.
Nick Peel, CEO of Marka, added: “The growth of the sports retail segment in the UAE and the region is outpacing what we are seeing on the global level. This is a result of factors ranging from strong population growth, rising income levels, and the pursuit of a growing number of citizens and residents adopting a healthy lifestyle, in part due to the UAE government’s support of the sports sector.”
Marka also aims to expand the network of the sporting goods stores, under the brand name of US-based Modell’s Sporting Goods in the UAE and the region, Peel said.
The chain of stores in the UAE and the region is the first Modell’s franchise outside the US.