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Thu 1 Jul 2010 12:23 PM

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Rotana Hotel chairman ups stake in firm

Shuaa Partners Fund sells 22% in Abu Dhabi hotel chain to existing shareholder.

Rotana Hotel chairman ups stake in firm
STAKE SALE: The transaction is due to be completed within a few weeks, following approval from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.(Getty Images)

The chairman of Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Hotel Management said he had agreed to buy a 22 percent stake in the company from a private equity fund of Dubai's Shuaa Capital.

Nasser Al Nowais declined to give a value for the deal, saying it would be disclosed next month when the agreement was signed. The transaction for the privately held company will be completed following approval from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

Al Nowais told Reuters with the purchase he owned more than 60 percent of the hotel chain. The remaining equity is held by high net worth individuals, he said.

"We give shares to the supporters of Rotana, those who give us their properties for management," Al Nowais told Reuters by phone.

The company operates 37 properties in the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Lebanon and plans to open 33 more before the end of 2014 in UAE, Qatar, Kurdistan, Jordan, Oman, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Morocco and Libya, a spokeswoman said.

Al Nowais said the chain was not planning to go public at the moment.

A Shuaa Capital spokesman declined to comment.

Selim El Zyr, president and chief executive of Rotana Hotels, said the sale was part of a regular turnover among investment funds.

Shuaa Partners Fund I, a $200 million closed-end private equity fund, took the 22 percent stake in Rotana in 2006.

Parent Shuaa Capital has been hit hard by the global financial crisis. The bank suffered heavy losses in 2009 but returned to a small net profit of 19.5 million dirhams ($5.3 million) in the first quarter, aided by its asset management business and lower expenses. (Reuters)

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