Qatari developers announce merger plans

10 January 2010

Barwa to acquire Alaqaria

Two of Qatar’s largest real estate developers, Barwa Real Estate Company and Qatar Real Estate Investment Company, have released details of their proposed merger.

Under the terms of the merger Barwa will acquire the share capital of Alaqaria in exchange for shares in Barwa. Alaqaria will then become a subsidiary of Barwa. Once Barwa has completed the share acquisition, Alaqaria may be delisted.

The enlarged Barwa group will be the ninth largest company on Qatar’s stock exchange with a market capitalisation of QR11.1bn ($3bn).

The two companies say that there is no overlap in their portfolios, with Barwa focusing on retail, office, hospitality and residential real estate and Alaqaria on industrial housing. There is also limited geographical overlap within Qatar with Barwa focusing on Doha, and Alaqaria’s portfolio spread around Doha, its suburbs and Qatar’s industrial cities.

The proposed merger is still subject to final agreement and approval from regulatory bodies and the two companies’ boards of directors.

It already has the support of the government and local developer Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which currently holds a 45 per cent stake in Barwa and a 27 per cent share of Alaqaria. Qatari Diar will hold a 45 per cent shareholding in the enlarged Barwa group.

US-based bank Goldman Sachs International and Qatar’s The First Investor are acting as financial advisers to Barwa, and JP Morgan, also US-based, is acting as financial adviser to Alaqaria.

UK law firm Linklaters and the local Hassan al-Khater are acting as legal advisers to Barwa, and US-based White & Case and the local Badri and Salim el Meouchi are acting as legal advisers to Alaqaria.

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