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FUND TO TAKE 2 SEATS ON BOARD

Shirish Saraf

Samena-led group buys 30.6pc stake in RAK Ceramics

Dubai, June 15, 2014

Samena Capital and a group of international investors including two Gulf sovereign wealth funds have completed the purchase of a 30.6 percent stake in Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics, the investment firm said in a statement on Sunday.

The fund, acting through Cayman Islands-registered subsidiary Samena Limestone Holdings, will have two seats on the board of one of the world's biggest makers of floor tiles following the acquisition.

The statement didn't name the other investors in the consortium. But in a separate bourse filing, RAK Ceramics said it had amended its rules so citizens of GCC states were treated as equivalent to UAE shareholders - suggesting the investors come from outside the UAE.

Samena's statement also didn't disclose the purchase price. When the deal was ratified in April, if it was at market price, it would have valued the whole company at around $852 million.

However, in granting regulatory approval last month, the UAE's Securities and Commodities Authority granted a waiver to the deal because the offer price was outside the range permitted - 25 percent above or below the closing price on the day before the bid was made.

The shares were bought from Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi, who will maintain a 'significant' holding in the business. Sheikh Saud is a member of the ruling family of Ras Al Khaimah, which is one of the seven United Arab Emirates.

“This investment by Samena Capital heralds the start of a new and exciting chapter in the development of RAK Ceramics,” said Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, and the cChairman of RAK Ceramics.
“Samena Capital brings a value-added network in our core markets as well as international private equity expertise and business and financial capabilities to our company. We believe that this will add immense value to the organization by sharpening our company’s long-term business strategy, driving further growth and improving our overall productivity.”

Shirish Saraf, founder & vice chairman, Samena Capital Investments, said: “RAK Ceramics stands apart as home-grown brand that has become a dominant global player within its industry and is a true success of private entrepreneurship from the Arab world. We thank all of our partners for making this deal possible and we look forward to working closely with the RAK Ceramics team to unlock new operational and commercial opportunities.”

Samena Capital has $700 million worth of assets under management, in private equity, credit and hedge fund seeding, according to its website. Its principal investments are in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

RAK Ceramics shares fell 4.4 percent on Sunday to 3.5 dirhams ($0.95), under-performing a benchmark retreat of 2 percent. The stock is up 22.6 percent year-to-date after nearly tripling in 2013. – Reuters




Tags: Stake | RAK Ceramics | Samena |

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