Al-Futtaim Group, one of the biggest conglomerates in UAE, is set to receive more than US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) in financing to manage expansion in Qatar and Egypt.
The company is in the final stagesof signing a loan facility worth 3.7bn Qatari rials (Dh3.73bn) to help build Doha Festival City and will also borrow 2bn Egyptian pounds (Dh1.22bn) to expand in Cairo.
Marwan Shehadeh, the director of corporate development at Al-Futtaim, says the group will also complete three acquisitions in the retail and construction sectors within weeks. "We are in a very expansionary mode," he said. "We are growing both organically and through acquisitions. We have been conservative in terms of leverage and we are very diversified."
Al-Futtaim joins the retail competitor Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), which operates a number of malls and Carrefour stores in the Middle East, in raising finance for expansion.
MAF is looking to issue a sukuk worth $500 million to help fund plans worth $2bn for malls and shopping centres in Lebanon, Egypt and Syria, as well as a hypermarket in Erbil in Iraq.
Mr Shehadeh said two acquisitions were "very, very close" in Saudi Arabia and another "much larger" deal would be signed in another country in a few weeks.
The two loans being financed were not being used for the acquisitions, Mr Shehadeh said, but the company would use a combination of further financing and cashflow to fund the purchases.
He declined to comment on the size of each of the deals, but Al-Futtaim has previously indicated it is planning to spend $500m on acquisitions around the Middle East and North Africa.
Mr Shehadeh said the financing it would receive for expansion in Egypt was previously put on hold by banks due to civil unrest, but this was now being finalised, despite recent political turmoil in Cairo. The company is in the process of building Cairo Festival City, a mall, hotel and leisure complex, similar to Dubai Festival City. It also began work last week on the 433,847 square metre Doha Festival City, a 6bn rials project being financed in conjunction with Qatar Islamic Bank and other investors.
The Doha mall and hotel complex, due to be completed in 2014, has already announced tenants such as Ikea, Toys "R" Us, Marks & Spencer and Intersport.
"We have several opportunities in Qatar, including acquisitions," said Mr Shehadeh.
Al-Futtaim has five core businesses - automotive, retail, financial services, property and electronics and engineering - which it aims to expand in other countries.
The automotive business provides the largest part of the group's revenues, dominating the UAE car market as the distributor of Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Volvo, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles.