Thursday, September 04, 2008

Dubai's Nakheel mulls IPO in 12 months

Original Article

DUBAI, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Government-owned Nakheel Properties, developer of Dubai's palm-shaped islands, will decide on a public listing in the next 12 months as it expands rapidly in the Gulf and abroad, its chief executive said.
"In the next 12 months time, we need to pursue whether there could be an IPO or not," Chris O'Donnell told Reuters in an interview.
Nakheel if listed could become one of the biggest companies in the Gulf, comparable to listed rival Emaar, which has a market capitalisation of around $15 billion.
The company, which took a 20 percent stake in Canada's Cirque du Soleil along with an affiliated company in August, is looking to purchase assets in the United States, Britain and Australia in the next 12-18 months following a slump in property prices.
"These markets are definitely in a cyclical decline and they will offer some very good buying opportunities in the next 12 to 18 months -- I don't think any earlier than that," O'Donnell said.
He said the group would review purchases across those markets, including commercial real estate, hotels and retail space.
The group already owns $20 billion in assets outside its home market of Dubai.
"We'll be redirecting our cash to where the major opportunities are. At the moment the opportunities are Dubai-based," he said.
In addition to considering an IPO the group is pursuing all forms of capital raising, he said, including traditional debt issues, private equity, real estate investment trusts and direct project financing from banks.
O'Donnell said Nakheel was "comfortable" with its current stake of around 15 percent in Australia's Mirvac Group.

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