Arabtec Appoints New CEO as Builder Plans to Raise $1.74 Billion

Arabtec Holding PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest construction company, appointed Hasan Ismaik to replace Riad Kamal as chief executive officer and said it plans to raise 6.4 billion dirhams ($1.74 billion) through a rights issue and a convertible bond.

Arabtec plans to issue 3.18 billion shares at 1.5 dirhams each, the company said in a statement today. It it will sell $450 million in convertible bonds and pay no dividend for 2012. The funds will be used to fund internal growth, acquisitions and joint ventures.

The construction firm, which mainly builds homes and offices, plans to expand to oil, gas and power infrastructure, it said today. The company is looking to increase its presence in high-growth markets, according to the statement.

Net income dropped to 139.2 million dirhams from 221.1 million dirhams a year earlier. The mean estimate of 11 analysts was for a profit of 186 million dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Kamal resigned as CEO, the company said, without providing details.

Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments, which last year raised its stake in Arabtec to 21.6 percent, has been playing a bigger role in the firm. Four Aabar executives were added to Arabtec’s board in May and Aabar Chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi became chairman of the construction company. Arabtec has won large projects in Abu Dhabi in the past year, including construction of a branch of the Louvre museum and the Midfield terminal at Abu Dhabi airport.

Arabtec will appoint a chief financial officer to replace Ziad Makhzoumi and a new chief operating officer in the coming months, it said.

Full-year revenue climbed 16 percent to 5.66 billion dirhams, the company said. The backlog reached 17.9 billion dirhams as of Dec. 31, an increase of 27 percent from a year earlier. Since the beginning of this year, the figure rose to 21.4 billion dirhams.

The builder’s shares declined 0.7 percent to 2.96 dirhams in Dubai trading today. The stock has gained 32 percent this year after surging by 48 percent in 2012.

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