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Qatar-Led Group Takes Control Of Dubai Jeweler Damas

Qatar-Led Group Takes Control Of Dubai Jeweler Damas

Following this, five Damas board members resigned, including executive chairman Ibrahim Belselah.


April 28, 2012 10:30 by

Qatar’s Mannai Corp and Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes have taken control of Dubai’s Damas after their consortium’s $445 million offer was accepted by more than 75 percent of the jeweler’s shareholders. The bidders have received acceptances representing 78.37 percent of Damas’s share capital for their $0.45 per share offer, according to a statement on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse on Thursday. “This effectively means the consortium has now acquired control,” the statement said.

Following this, five Damas board members resigned, including executive chairman Ibrahim Belselah. The new members include Alekh Grewal, Mannai Corp’s chief executive, and Karim Moussa, a managing director in private equity at EFG Hermes. Damas shares have nearly doubled in value this year to $0.435, surging after its major shareholders the Abdullah brothers – Tawfique Abdullah, Tawhid Abdullah and Tamjid Abdullah – said in early Januaray they were looking to sell some of their holdings.

Mannai, whose operations span the oil and gas, automotive, travel and logistics sectors, will become the majority owner of Damas, and will delist the jeweler from Nasdaq Dubai. The bidders earlier stated Mannai would hold a 66-percent stake in Damas and EFG Hermes 19 percent, with the remaining 15 percent retained by the Abdullah brothers.

The 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 UAE after it snapped up a 35-percent stake in Axiom Telecom in 2011. (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Dinesh Nair)


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