Dubai theme park operator urges shareholders to back Meraas offer

DXB Entertainment says offer is ‘only viable route’ for shareholders to recover value from their investment

DXB Entertainment said on Wednesday it is recommending its shareholders accept state-controlled Meraas Holding’s offer to acquire the Dubai theme park operator’s debt and take it private.

In a filing to Dubai Financial Market, the company said it has reviewed the independent expert advice received from financial advisors KPMG, Shuaa Capital and Allen & Overy in relation to the conditional cash offer received from Meraas Leisure and Entertainment.

In late December, Meraas offered to acquire debt worth AED4.26 billion ($1.16 billion) and convert it into new DXB Entertainment shares, boosting its ownership to more than 90 percent.

DXBE was listed to capitalise on Dubai’s booming tourism sector in 2014, but it has struggled to hit targets for visitor numbers. Its troubles were exacerbated by lockdowns put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

The company hasn’t posted a profit since listing.

In the statement, DXBE’s board said in view of the company’s current cash position and liabilities, and near term general economic conditions, the terms of the offer were “fair and reasonable”.

It unanimously recommended to shareholders to accept the offer, attend the general assembly meeting on March 9 and vote in favour of the resolutions required to implement it.

“In the absence of any further support from shareholders, including Meraas, the current available liquidity of the company is likely to be exhausted during Q2,” the statement added.

The board added that it believes that the offer safeguards the interests of the company and is the “only viable route” for shareholders to recover value from their investment.

Meraas currently holds a 52 percent stake in DXB Entertainments, which still counts Qatar’s sovereign fund and Kuwait Investment Authority as other shareholders.

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