EFG-Hermes, Qatar conglomerate agree takeover of Dubai's Damas

Reuters, Wednesday 28 Mar 2012

Egyptian investment bank will hold a 19 per cent stake in the emirates-based jeweller

Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes and Qatari conglomerate Mannai Corp have agreed a $0.45 per share recommended cash bid for Dubai jeweler Damas .

In a joint statement, Mannai and EFG Hermes said irrevocable undertakings had been secured from 77.8 per cent of Damas shareholders, with the bid valuing Damas's share capital at around $445 million.

The offer is at a 9.8-per cent premium to Damas's closing price on Tuesday of $0.41. The stock, which has surged 86 per cent this year on talk of a potential takeover, was unchanged in early Wednesday trade.
Mannai, whose operations span the oil and gas, automotive, travel and logistics sectors, is set to become the majority owner of Damas and delist the company from the Nasdaq Dubai bourse if the deal goes through.
Mannai aims to hold a 66-per cent stake in Damas and EFG Hermes 19 per cent, with the remaining 15 percent retained by the jeweler's current majority shareholders Tawfique Abdullah, Tawhid Abdullah and Tamjid Abdullah.
Damas's board has unanimously recommended the bid, the statement said, and is subject to formal acceptance by the company's shareholders.
The Abdullah brothers have been sidelined from the jeweler they helped found and which has been forced to restructure $872 million in debt.
For Mannai, the deal would be its second buy in the United Arab Emirates after it snapped up a 35-per cent stake in Axiom Telecom in 2011.
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