Hussein Sajwani, the billionaire whose Damac Properties is developing Donald Trump-branded golf courses in Dubai, would be “more than happy” to sell as much as 15 percent of his majority stake in the company to boost the trading in its shares.
“The intention is there,” the Damac chairman said in an interview at his seafront residence on The Palm, a man-made island off Dubai’s coast.
“As an owner who built the company with all the effort and hard work, I am not willing to sell it when I see my stock is undervalued,” he said.
He declined to say what he considers a fair price.
Sajwani owns 72 percent of Damac, the company he founded in 2002 and grew to become one of the biggest developers in the Middle East, known for projects designed by Versace and offers of luxury cars such as BMWs, Lamborghinis and Teslas to buyers during Dubai’s shopping festival.
Sajwani has a net worth of $5.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“For me, liquidity in the stock is important,” Sajwani said. “At the same time, I love what I do and I see big potential in the company and I want to stay majority shareholder.”
No advisers have been hired to oversee a possible sale, he said.
Damac shares were up 1.4 percent at 3.54 dirhams as of 10:45am in Dubai after surging as much as 2.3 percent earlier. The stock’s trading volume is about six times higher than the 30-day average, Bloomberg data shows. The shares rose 7 percent this year, extending a 30 percent rally in 2017.
Still, the developer is trading at cheaper valuation when compared to peers. Damac is trading at 6.3 times its estimated earnings over 12 months, below 7.6 times for Emaar Properties and the 8.6 times, which is the average for Dubai’s main stock index.
Damac has two golf-course development deals with Trump’s family company.
he tie-up has propelled Sajwani from a developer little known beyond the Middle East into someone often referred to as Trump’s main business partner in the region.
No more deals were being explored with the US president’s organisation, he said.
Sales are forecast to grow about 7 percent in 2017, Sajwani said, matching analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Damac shares have climbed 32 percent over the past 12 months, beating Dubai’s real-estate stock index, helped by its inclusion in MSCI global indexes.
The company is weighing opportunities in cities such as Berlin, Istanbul and London, where he thinks the UK’s planned exit from the European Union is offering a possibility to expand, Sajwani said.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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