13 March, 2014

Clifford Chance advises Mannai on its acquisition of a further stake in Damas

13 March 2014
Clifford Chance has advised Mannai Corporation QSC on its acquisition of a 19% interest in Damas International Limited, the leading Middle East jewellery and watch retailer, from a fund managed by EFG-Hermes for US$150 million.

Clifford Chance previously advised a consortium comprising Mannai and EFG-Hermes on its successful recommended US$445 million cash bid for Damas announced in March 2012 and recently advised Mannai on its acquisition of a further 15% interest in Damas from the founding shareholders. The successful bid in 2012 was one of the largest ever public M&A transactions in the Middle East and was notable for, amongst other things, the partnership between a trading conglomerate and a financial sponsor.

Mannai's acquisition of EFG-Hermes' shareholding in Damas means that Damas is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mannai whilst facilitating a successful exit from its investment by EFG-Hermes.

Clifford Chance Corporate Partner James McCarthy commented "We are delighted to have been able to extend our long-standing relationship with Mannai by advising on their acquisition of a further stake in Damas, one of the best known retail brands in the Middle East. This is undoubtedly a significant transaction on many fronts and marks the culmination of the work that started in 2012 with the recommended cash bid."

Alekh Grewal, Chief Executive Officer of Mannai Corporation agreed: "This transaction is of significant strategic importance to Mannai and would not have been possible without Clifford Chance's proactive and commercially focussed advice and support. The team has worked tirelessly to achieve our timetable and commercial objectives and guide us through the considerable challenges of the transaction."

The Clifford Chance team was led by Corporate Partner James McCarthy who was supported by associates Sian Rowlands and Alanna Hunter.

Clifford Chance continues to be recognised for its cutting-edge work in the Middle East. In the past year, the team has advised on some the largest and most high profile regional deals including the Carlyle Group on their strategic investment in Al-Nabil Food Industries Co. Ltd, Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company Limited on its acquisition of a majority stake in the National Beverage Company and Invest AD on the disposal of its majority stake in the Unitra METS Group.

Clifford Chance is the Middle East's leading international law firm, with more regional tier-1 directory rankings than any other firm. Clifford Chance works with clients throughout the Middle East and North Africa and has offices in Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul and Riyadh. In 2013, the team was awarded the prestigious Middle East Law Firm of the Year award by Chambers Global.

This year we have increased our commitment to being the leading international law firm in the Middle East, announcing on 1 January 2014 that we opened Saudi Arabia's first joint Saudi and foreign owned law partnership when we integrated into our practice the transactional lawyers of Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm with whom we have had a cooperation agreement since 1998. This has made Clifford Chance Saudi Arabia's leading transactional law firm and its first joint Saudi and foreign owned law firm.

    Clifford Chance's corporate practice has 750 legal advisers worldwide. Lawyers advise on M&A, commercial contracts, competition and antitrust, funds, investment banking and private equity across a range of sectors including consumer goods and retail, communications, energy, healthcare, financial institutions, funds, investment banking, insurance, media and technology. For more information please visit:

    Clifford Chance is one of the world's pre-eminent law firms with significant depth and range of resources across five continents. As a single, fully integrated, global partnership, we pride ourselves on our approachable, collegiate and team-based way of working. We always strive to exceed the expectations of our clients, which include corporates from all the commercial and industrial sectors, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not for profit organisations. We provide them with the highest quality advice and legal insight, which combines the Firm's global standards with in-depth local expertise.

    Clifford Chance was ranked tier-1 in more cross-border tables than any other firm in the Chambers Global 2013 Directory. This independent analysis focuses on firms' legal ability, professional conduct, client service, and commercial awareness, and these rankings provide outstanding recognition for the Firm's breadth of expertise and consistency of quality across global markets.

    For further information about Clifford Chance see

    For further information about this release contact Magdalena Suder on +971 4 362 0444.

    © Press Release 2014