Emar Bahrain buys Financial Centre in $425m deal
Manama, December 9, 2007
Emar Bahrain has secured control of Bahrain’s iconic Bahrain Financial Harbour’s Financial Centre in a $425 million deal.
Gulf Finance House (GFH) and the Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company (BFHHC) today jointly announced the sale to Emar Bahrain of a majority stake in the two iconic Harbour Towers and the Harbour Mall (together comprising the Financial Centre).
Emar Bahrain will buy the Financial Centre Investment Company which owns a 68 per cent interest in the Financial Centre Development Company that owns the Financial Centre. The majority stake is being sold by a consortium of Gulf-based clients of Gulf Finance House.
In a strategic move that ensures that control of the anchor development at the heart of the Bahrain Financial Harbour remains in Bahrain, Gulf Finance House arranged the sale of the Financial Centre Investment Company to Emar Bahrain, a statement said.
Dr Omer O Al Mardi, managing director, BFHHC said: “The Bahrain Financial Harbour is a project of great pride to the Bahraini nation. Keeping ownership and control of the Financial Centre at the heart of the project is a strategic objective and the sale to Emar Bahrain achieves that. The financial services industry of Bahrain is a cornerstone of the Bahraini economy and BFH is a key part of the future of Bahrain as a leading international financial centre”.
Dr Al Mardi is also the chairman of Emar Bahrain.
Peter Panayiotou, acting CEO of GFH, added: “Bahrain Financial Harbour is one of the first of GFH’s economic infrastructure projects and probably the most important in terms of helping us establish our credentials and expertise in this business.
The project was financed in different phases by different groups of Gulf based clients of the bank. The sale of the majority stake held by the Financial Centre Investment Company signals the final exit of GFH’s private clients from the financing of the Harbour Towers and the Harbour Mall.
“For our clients this investment has been very profitable with our clients achieving a return of almost 80 per cent since November 2005,” he said.
The first development phase of BFH ‘The Financial Centre’ was formally opened earlier this year. –TradeArabia News Service