DAMAC's chairman considers taking company private -sources

Sajwani is allegedly in talks with banks to finance the deal, a source revealed

  
Hussain Sajwani, Chairman, DAMAC Properties.

Hussain Sajwani, Chairman, DAMAC Properties.

QUILL MENA/handout via Zawya

LONDON/DUBAI: The chairman of DAMAC Properties, owner of the only Trump-branded golf club in the Middle East, is weighing buying out minority shareholders and taking the $1.1 billion Dubai-listed company private, three sources familiar with the talks said.

Hussain Sajwani, who founded the company nearly two decades ago, has been exploring the deal since late 2019 after DAMAC's share price plunged over the past two years, one of the sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

Sajwani, who through his private investment company bought Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli last year, currently owns 72.2% of DAMAC, according to Refinitiv data.

He is in talks with banks to finance the deal, the same source added.

DAMAC did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

The developer, which predominantly operates in Dubai but also has assets in Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, has seen its share price fall by around 80%, to just 0.69 dirhams ($0.19), since the start of 2018 amid a prolonged downtown in Dubai's real estate market.

It recorded its first annual loss since 2010 last year, and has posted consecutive quarterly losses this year.

DAMAC listed Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) in London at $12.25 each in 2013, valuing the company at $2.65 billion. Shares were listed on the Dubai stock market two years later. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

© Reuters News 2020

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