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| 02 August, 2017

Al Futtaim Capital becomes Depa's biggest shareholder

Depa – the fit-out firm behind the Burj Khalifa – has been listed on the Nasdaq Dubai since 2008

02 August 2017
Al Futtaim Capital has become the biggest shareholder in Dubai-based fit-out specialist Depa after increasing its stake in the company to 26.6 percent - up from almost 14 percent last week.

Documents filed with Nasdaq Dubai on Tuesday, the exchange on which Depa shares are listed, show that Al Futtaim Capital increased its holding in Depa via two transactions of about 71.4 million shares on Thursday and 6.4 million shares on Sunday. The company paid $0.37 per share in both transactions, spending almost $28.8 million on its increased stake.

Al Futtaim Capital did not respond to requests to comment.

The company is now the single-biggest shareholder in Depa. United Arab Emirates-based construction contractor Arabtec retains a 24 percent stake in the business, which it acquired in November 2012. Union Insurance has just sold its 11 percent stake.

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Depa is run by chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt, who was appointed in April 2016 to embark on a restructuring of the business. This has involved the creation of a strategic holding company that has delegated operational responsibility to its main business units in the UAE, Singapore and Germany.

Tyrwhitt told Zawya on Tuesday evening that the increase in Al Futtaim Capital's shareholding was a positive endorsement for Depa because it has held a stake in Depa for many years. It has held shares in Depa throughout its history as a public company. It listed on Nasdaq Dubai in 2008.

"It's really positive to see the company supported by a long term shareholder," Tyrwhitt said.

Depa announced last month that it had resolved one of its biggest legacy disputes – a $245 million claim that its joint venture Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) had filed against Doha’s Hamad International Airport in 2013.

LDI had been working on the fit-out of airport lounges at Hamad International, but was removed from the site in 2012, with airport bosses claiming that the company had failed to meet construction targets. LDI issued its claim a year later, arguing that its removal had been unfounded.

In a statement published on July 6, Depa said the resolution of the legacy claim "significantly improves the group’s net cash position, which will have a materially positive impact" on its half-year earnings for 2017.

© Zawya 2017