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Damas’ Board Agrees to Mannai’s Cash Offer of $0.45 a Share

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Damas International Ltd., a Dubai-based jewellery maker and retailer, said its board recommended accepting a cash offer for the company from Qatar’s Mannai Corp., valuing Damas’ equity at about $445 million.

Mannai Corp, a retailer of consumer goods and automobiles, will make the bid through its BidCo. unit, which will pay $0.45 for each Damas share, according to a Damas statement on Nasdaq Dubai today. The price is a 191 percent premium to Damas’ average closing price of $0.1547 in the three months to Jan. 9, said the company. BidCo, in which EFG Hermes Capital Partners Management Ltd. also owns a stake, said 77.8 percent of Damas shareholders had accepted the offer.

“Damas is a very attractive retail brand with a highly successful regional business,” Alekh Grewal, chief executive officer of Mannai and director of BidCo said. “Our bid to acquire Damas is testament to its sound business model and promising growth potential.”

Mannai said in January it was considering a cash bid for Damas, which was forced to restructure its board and debt after unauthorized trading by its founders. Damas’ shares closed at $0.41 on Nasdaq Dubai yesterday.

Damas’ board, which is being advised by Nomura International Plc, considered the bid “fair and reasonable,” according to the statement. The bid is conditional on at least 75 percent of Damas shareholders accepting the offer, and if it does BidCo. will seek to delist Damas shares.

Mannai and BidCo., also known as Golden Investment Ltd., were advised by EFG-Hermes UAE Ltd., while Clifford Chance LLP acted as legal counsel and KPMG was the financial due diligence adviser, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai at mchmaytelli@bloomberg.net Arif Sharif in Dubai at asharif2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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