Billionaire Sajwani Offers to Take a Top Dubai Developer Private

Dubai-based billionaire Hussain Sajwani intends to take Damac Properties PJSC private by buying its remaining shares through a firm he owns, the developer said.

Maple Invest Co Limited, owned by Sajwani, on June 8 made “a firm intention to make a voluntary conditional offer for the issued share capital of Damac not already owned by Maple and its affiliates,” according to a statement.

Sajwani, who owns a 72% stake in the developer, resigned as Damac’s chairman to avoid conflict of interest.

Damac shares fell as much as 1.5% on Wednesday, later trimming their decline. They are down less than 1% for the year, lagging a 14% increase for the DFM General Index and a 13% increase for a gauge tracking listed real estate companies.

Damac shares are flat for the year, underperforming local peers

Damac listed in Dubai’s main bourse in 2015 in an exchange for shares that were traded in London since 2013. The company raised about $375 million with its U.K. IPO.

Sluggish trading, a slump in prices and liquidity, and a desire by companies to escape investor scrutiny have been driving efforts to take public companies private in Dubai. Emaar Properties PJSC said in March it will effectively delist one of its units for about two-thirds of its original public-offering price. Late last year, government-controlled Meraas Holding LLC proposed taking DXB Entertainments private at a 33% discount.

Read More: Billionaire Sajwani Offers to Take a Top Dubai Developer Private