The transaction has been ground-breaking in the regional market.
The deal, involving combined assets of more than $12bn, makes it one of the largest transactions of any type in the regional market over the last 12 months.
The deal also involved a number of innovative legal features and, in particular, was the first public company merger to be implemented under the universal succession provisions of the United Arab Emirates Companies Law.
The merger terms were agreed by the Aldar and Sorouh boards back in January 2013; and by their shareholders in March 2013. The transaction was ultimately approved by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and declared effective by the Ministry of Economy on 27 June 2013. The merger is indicative of the burgeoning regional trend towards rationalisation and consolidation amongst real estate developers.
The Allen & Overy team was led by Ibrahim Mubaydeen, managing partner of Allen & Overy’s Abu Dhabi office, with support from corporate partner Nick Stuart. The rest of the Allen & Overy team included Ian Bevan, David Foster, Stephen Knight, Suneel Gokhale, Mohamed El-Sherkawi, Michael Grace and Salma Zibdeh.
Ibrahim Mubaydeen, commented, “This is a landmark transaction for the real estate market, as well as for Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East region. We are proud to have advised Aldar, with whom we have a long-standing relationship and are delighted that Allen & Overy’s expertise has made a significant contribution to reaching a successful closing.”
The post-merger Aldar Properties is now one of the largest listed real estate companies in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a market capitalization of approximately Dhs16.7bn.
The company is the owner of one of the largest land banks in the region, 90% of which is located in investment zones. The Government of Abu Dhabi will be a key customer for Aldar Properties as it continues to deliver strategic assets and various projects for the government.
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