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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Dubai retailer Marka seeks strategic partner and capital restructuring options

Loss-making retailer to announce date of general assembly meeting in first week of November

Marka, which narrowed its second-quarter loss down to Dh12 million from Dh126m in the prior-year period, had initiated a restructuring of its business last year.  Sammy Dallal / The National
Marka, which narrowed its second-quarter loss down to Dh12 million from Dh126m in the prior-year period, had initiated a restructuring of its business last year.  Sammy Dallal / The National

Marka, the loss-making Dubai retailer, said it is considering all available options for capital restructuring and is "actively" seeking a strategic partner to inject capital into the company.

The retailer, which has failed to make a profit since listing on the Dubai stock exchange in 2014, is looking for an "appropriate" partner to participate in the capital increase and to subscribe fore the shares allocated to them once it obtains approvals, it said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market on Thursday.

"The company is seeking to find the strategic partner and to make an agreement with them as soon as possible to enable the company's general assembly to be convened at the earliest opportunity," Marka said in the bourse filing.

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Marka, which narrowed its second-quarter loss down to Dh12 million from Dh126m in the same period last year, had initiated a restructure of its business last year. The company, in April, proposed a capital reduction through cancellation of shares to reduce accumulated losses of more than Dh450m. It also proposed raising issued share capital up to Dh250m through the issuance of new shares. Additionally, it proposed a capital restructure for later this year.

During the first week of November, the company will seek to announce a date for its general assembly meeting.

Cash-strapped Marka was waiting for accounting firm Crowe to complete its report about the acquisition and divestment transactions made before May 2017, it said. The report was submitted to Marka's board of directors and the company will submit a copy to the UAE markets regulator Securities and Commodities Authority.

Marka's auditors PwC said in August that the company's financial indicators show uncertainty that casts doubt on the its ability to continue operations.

The introduction of VAT since January, which has affected consumer spending in the UAE, and the rapid growth of e-commerce in the country are the major headwinds for the retailer sector in the UAE.