Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim Said to Select Banks for Perpetual Bond

Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC, the Middle East operator of Carrefour SA stores, picked banks for the potential sale of benchmark-sized dollar bonds, three people familiar with the matter said.

Privately-owned Majid Al Futtaim, also known by its acronym MAF, selected lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC to arrange the perpetual bond sale, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. A deal could happen in the first half, but the company may decide against it if market conditions aren’t favorable, they said.

Perpetual debt can be treated as equity, allowing companies to increase capital outside stock markets. Benchmark-sized issues usually raise at least $500 million.

MAF is in talks to buy a controlling stake in the Geant Hypermarket chain in the region, people familiar with the matter said this week. Dubai-based private equity firm Levant Capital, which owns Saudi Arabian supermarket Al-Raya for Foodstuff Co., is also bidding for the business that could fetch about $500 million, they said. MAF is seeking acquisitions to fuel growth, Chief Executive Officer Alain Bejjani said last month.

HSBC, NBAD and Standard Chartered declined to comment, while MAF didn’t respond to requests seeking comment.

Bond sales in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, climbed to a record $72 billion last year as governments and corporates raised debt to help plug budget deficits amid low oil prices. MAF last sold dollar bonds in 2015 when it raised a $500 million sukuk.

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