* Dubai real estate developer to sell up to 25 pct of unit
* Likely to list on Nasdaq Dubai; no timetable given
* Dubai govt set for $750 mln windfall
* Listing of other units to follow eventually
* 2013 dividend rises from 2012
(Adds listing likely on Nasdaq Dubai, more listings ahead)
By Andrew Torchia and David French
DUBAI, March 15 Dubai's Emaar Properties said it
would sell up to 25 percent of its shopping mall and retailing
unit in a public offer expected to raise 8 to 9 billion dirhams
($2.18-$2.45 billion), making it one of the region's largest
equity offers since 2008.
The proceeds "will be primarily distributed as dividend" to
Emaar shareholders, Dubai's biggest listed real estate developer
said in a statement on Saturday, without giving a timetable for
the offer. The shares to be sold will come from the unit's
Dubai-listed Emaar's flagship mall is the Dubai Mall, one of
the largest in the world, which it says attracted more than 75
million visitors in 2013. The company also built the Burj
Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building.
The listing plan underlines Dubai's recovery from its
financial crisis, which erupted in 2009. Before the crisis,
Emaar talked about listing its shopping mall operations but was
forced to put the plan on hold as the emirate's real estate and
stock markets collapsed.
Both markets are now rebounding strongly on the back of
inflows of foreign money, with residential property prices up
over 20 percent last year and Dubai's main equity index
rallying about 140 percent since the end of 2012.
Emaar is 31 percent-owned by the Dubai government, which is
set to earn a dividend of about $750 million from the listing -
an important windfall since Dubai and its government-related
firms face tens of billions of dollars of debt maturities in the
next few years, a legacy of the crisis.
The malls and retailing unit posted revenue of 2.8 billion
dirhams last year, up over 20 percent from 2012, while its gross
operating profit increased 20 percent to 2.2 billion dirhams,
Emaar said. The company's total revenues last year were 10.3
More than 55 percent of the company's revenues currently
come from its shopping malls and retail, hospitality and
leisure, and international operations, Emaar said, indicating
that more subsidiaries would be listed eventually.
"The Board decided that listing of various Emaar
subsidiaries, with a view to creating independent companies with
their own growth strategies and management structures, was
imperative to achieve Emaar's long-term growth strategies ...
"In the future, listing of other relevant subsidiaries will
also be considered as and when appropriate," it said.
The listing plan may give a shot in the arm to Dubai's stock
market, which has not fully recovered from the crisis. There
have been no initial public offers of shares in Dubai since
2009, though a real estate investment trust plans an IPO in
When Dubai luxury real estate developer DAMAC
conducted an IPO last December it did so not at home but in
London, where companies can attract wider investor bases and
face less stringent ownership rules.
Emaar did not say in its statement where its unit would be
listed, and it told Reuters that a decision had not yet been
made. However, one of the emirate's top companies might find it
controversial to list a unit abroad instead of supporting the
development of the local market.
The company's intention to sell no more than 25 percent of
its unit suggests that unless rules are changed, the listing
will not occur on Dubai Financial Market, the larger of the
emirate's two exchanges, which requires bigger proportions of
companies to be floated.
Instead, the listing may take place on Nasdaq Dubai, which
has a 25 percent minimum. A Dubai government source, speaking on
condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue,
indicated that Nasdaq Dubai was likely.
"The intention is not to create an entity that would compete
with parent Emaar but to unlock the value for shareholders," he
said. "Nasdaq becomes the obvious choice."
Separately, Emaar said its board was proposing a 15 percent
cash dividend and a 10 percent bonus share issue for 2013; it
would be the company's highest dividend since 2007, which saw a
20 percent cash dividend. The cash dividend for 2012 was 10
percent of share capital.
(Additional reporting by Praveen Menon and Mirna Sleiman;
Editing by Susan Fenton)