JPMorgan Said to Probably Join Morgan Stanley on Mall IPO

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will probably join Morgan Stanley as global coordinator on the initial public offering of Emaar Properties PJSC’s shopping malls and retail business, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The banks were informally hired, though no documents have yet been signed, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Emaar is also appointing lead managers for the sale, the people said. An official at Emaar who didn’t want to be identified said no advisers have been appointed. Spokesmen for JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Emaar, developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, hired Morgan Stanley to advise on what will be the largest share sale in the Middle East and Africa since 2008, Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said in a March 18 interview. The company plans to raise 8 billion dirhams ($2.2 billion) to 9 billion dirhams from the sale as a tourism boom adds to retail sales in Dubai.

Middle Eastern companies are taking advantage of rebounding stock markets and asset prices to raise funds through IPOs and secondary offerings. Emirates Reit, the United Arab Emirates’ first real-estate investment trust, said last week it increased its share sale to $175 million to accommodate investor demand for Dubai’s first IPO for at least five years.

The first portion of Emaar’s share sale will target U.S. investors and a second tranche for local investors may follow, depending on demand, one of the people said.

Nasdaq Dubai

Emaar is also considering appointing a local bank as adviser on the offering of a 25 percent stake in the unit, Alabbar said in the March 18 interview. The company is seeking to complete the deal by mid-June and plans to sell the shares on Nasdaq Dubai and in London, Alabbar said in a separate interview with Bloomberg Television on the same day.

Proceeds from the secondary public offering will be used mainly to pay a dividend to shareholders. Dubai’s government is Emaar’s largest shareholder with almost 30 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s malls and retail business had a 20 percent increase in 2013 revenue to 2.84 billion dirhams, while the Dubai Mall attracted 75 million visitors last year. The shares of Emaar, which will hold a stockholders meeting on April 23, have surged 32 percent this year after doubling in 2013.

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