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Tue 6 Mar 2012 06:25 PM

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Qatar's Al Meera hires firm for finance options

Retail company appoints QNB Capital to study financing alternatives, restructuring

Qatar's Al Meera hires firm for finance options
(For illustrative purposes only)

Fast-growing Qatari retail firm Al Meera Consumer Goods Co has hired a company to study financing alternatives and capital restructuring.

The company said in an announcement to the Qatar Securities Exchange that it had appointed QNB Capital.

Al Meera, which recently struck a deal to franchise French retailer Casino's Geant hypermarkets in parts of the Gulf, said last month that its board had directed management to look at financing options, including borrowing and restructuring capital.

In December, Al Meera signed a deal to develop Geant hypermarkets in Qatar and Oman as part of Casino's bid to boost its presence in fast-growing regions.

It has also inked agreements recently with Thai retailer Index Living Mall to establish and operate home furnishing stores in Qatar.

Last month, Al Meera also entered into a joint venture agreement with Saudi Arabia's United Electronics Company (eXtra) to launch the brand in Qatar.

Under the agreement, the parties agreed to set up a limited liability company to develop and operate a chain of consumer electronics retail stores in Qatar under the eXtra brand.

"They're doing a lot of expansion and are growing. They could look at a bond or additional equity to fund that," said Robert Pramberger, acting head of asset management at The First Investor last month.

Al Meera operates more than 20 supermarkets under its own banner in Qatar.

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