x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Union Properties buys 5.7% stake in Egyptian developer Palm Hills

Deal coincides with the real estate company's offloading of Emicool stake

Union Properties's new management is looking to diversify the company's revenue streams.  Antonie Robertson / The National
Union Properties's new management is looking to diversify the company's revenue streams. Antonie Robertson / The National

Dubai real estate firm Union Properties acquired a 5.7 per cent stake in Egyptian developer Palm Hills Development, the company said late on Wednesday, as it looks to diversify revenues and expand into new markets.

The acquisition announcement came hours after Union Properties said it was in the final stages to offload its stake in Dubai-based district cooling company Emicool, with its investment partner Dubai Investments tipped to acquire the shares.

“Acquiring this strategic stake [in Palm Hills] marks another step in Union Properties’ ambitious plan to enhance our investments in and out of the UAE, diversify our revenue streams, expand our business, and venture into new markets,” said UP group chief executive Ahmed Khouri in a statement.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

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Palm Hills, listed on the Egyptian stock exchange and the London Stock Exchange, has a land bank of 41 million square metres, with a portfolio of 26 projects spanning 27m sq m.

Union Properties is reorganising its finances in the wake of sliding real estate prices in the UAE. The developer’s new management team wrote down the value of its assets by Dh2.8 billion last year.

The company said last month it will sell shares in its facilities management unit through an initial public offering in the second half of 2018. Union Properties will float 100 per cent of ServeU shares by listing the unit on the Dubai index and will use the proceeds from the sale to boost its investment portfolio and operations, it said at the time.