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Dubai Investments to float unit next year

Dubai Investment ParkDubai Investments, a diversified Gulf-based investment group, plans to float shares in at least one subsidiary next year and could also divest other holdings, its chief executive said on Monday.

The firm, which reported a 63 percent rise in annual profit to 1.34 billion dirhams ($364.8 million) last year, has primed three subsidiaries – in financial services and property, plus district cooling firm Emicool – to potentially list on the Dubai Financial Market in 2016, Khalid bin Kalban told reporters.

“It depends on the circumstances and the market – if sentiment allows, it could be more than one, but those (three) have been identified and are on a path to go for an IPO (initial public offer),” he said. “2016, we will definitely IPO at least one of our companies in the group.”

In January Dubai Investments, which is 11.5-percent owned by state fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, said it was close to two acquisitions worth a combined 400 million dirhams, one in financial services and another in real estate.

Kalban said Dubai Investments would reveal the name of an Abu Dhabi real estate company it was buying within 10 days.

“We’re in the mode of acquiring companies,” said Kalban. “Our strategy in the coming two to three years is to acquire companies to grow our balance sheet.”

Last month, it agreed to buy a 60 percent stake in investment firm Al Mal Capital.

“Most of our companies are ripe to exit, but we’re not saying ‘we want to sell this, we want to sell that’ – if there are parties interested, we will consider,” said Kalban.

“We acquired Al Mal Capital because we want them just to do that – to identify from the portfolio that this company is eligible to be sold and prepare the company. We have 38 companies – this (Al Mal) is the one to sell part of them, to IPO some and so forth.”

The company also plans to build industrial zones in Angola and Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh similar to its flagship Dubai Investments Park.

The land for the 11 million square metre Riyadh project was bought for 1.5 billion riyals ($400 million), with Dubai Investments holding a 25 percent stake and given a mandate to manage the remainder of the project.

“It will have land for warehousing, logistics, staff accommodation, light industrial units and so on,” said Kalban, adding his company was also planning two other developments in Saudi Arabia, but declining to provide further details.

Kalban said Angola’s government would provide 45-50 square kilometres of land for Dubai Investments to build an industrial park. Three sites are under consideration and the company will select one next month.

“There are some investors who will be partnering with us, but we own more than 80 percent of that joint venture,” said Kalban.-Reuters