Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 August 2019

Dubai retailer Marka's shareholders vote to liquidate company

Majority of shareholders agree to discontinue company at May 15 meeting

Reem Al Bawadi restaurant is one of the brands owned by Marka. Courtesy Reem Al Bawadi
Reem Al Bawadi restaurant is one of the brands owned by Marka. Courtesy Reem Al Bawadi

Dubai-based retailer Marka's shareholders voted to liquidate the company following attempts to restructure the business and reverse accumulated losses over consecutive years.

Investors approved the motion during the company's annual general meeting on May 15, Marka's chairman Khalid bin Kalban confirmed to The National on Thursday.

Marka has not made a profit since listing on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) in 2014. It began a restructuring process in 2017 including

selling stores and cutting operational costs. Last year Marka said it was considering all available options for capital restructuring and was seeking a strategic partner to invest in the company.

However, its first-quarter losses for 2019 widened further, standing at Dh295.8 million for the first three months compared to Dh242.7m in the year-earlier period, according to a regulatory filing in May.

Marka counts fashion, sports and food retailers including Lebanese restaurant Reem Al Bawadi and Italian icecream shop Morelli’s Gelato among its brands.

The introduction of VAT in January 2018, which has affected consumer spending in the UAE, the rapid growth of e-commerce and lower oil prices weakening regional economies are the major headwinds for the retailer sector in the UAE.

Mr bin Kalban did not comment on the timeline for the liquidation process or how the company's assets would be handled.

Updated: May 16, 2019 05:55 PM

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