Qatar's Alaqaria agrees to Barwa takeover details

Qatar Real Estate Investments (Alaqaria) agreed to a takeover by Barwa Real Estate, the companies said yesterday, in a deal creating Qatar's ninth-largest company with a market value of $3 billion (Dh11.1bn).

Each Alaqaria share will be exchanged for 1.1 shares in Barwa, it said, adding that the deal values Alaqaria shares at SR36.30 (Dh35.5) per share and implies a 30.6 per cent premium, a statement on the Qatari bourse website said.

Alaqaria shares were up 9.7 per cent at SR30.50 in the wake of the deal, which was announced in early 2009.

After the merger, Alaqaria will become a subsidiary of Barwa and the market capitalisation of the combined firms will reach $3.05bn, it said. Barwa, which has properties in Paris, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, was ordered by the government in January to merge with Alaqaria.

Barwa's activities focus on retail, office, hospitality and residential property development, while Alaqaria specialises in industrial housing. The companies operations are also spread out in different geographical areas.

"The managements of Barwa and Alaqaria expect that the increased scale will support future growth of the enlarged Barwa group," the statement said.

Goldman Sachs International and The First Investor were advising Barwa on the proposed merger, while JP Morgan advised Alaqaria.

Qatar house prices are poised to ease 15 per cent in 2010 on higher supply but the construction sector would grow as 40 per cent of the state budget is earmarked for infrastructure, said the First Investor Asset Management.

The merger is backed by the government and Qatari Diar.

 

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