Middle Eastern deal of the year 2013: Aldar/Sorouh merger
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Middle Eastern deal of the year 2013: Aldar/Sorouh merger

Aldar/Sorouh $2.3 billion merger
Advisers Goldman Sachs, NBAD (steering committee); Credit Suisse (Aldar); Morgan Stanley (Sorouh)
return to the Deals of the Year 2013 index

Abu Dhabi has regained confidence since Aldar and Sorouh’s merger. Real estate and equity indices have risen. There has been a surge in new deals from state investment fund Mubadala, the biggest Aldar shareholder (a position that in part led Mubadala to a loss in 2010, because of fair-value write-downs).

Aldar and the less leveraged Sorouh used to be among Abu Dhabi’s largest developers. Meanwhile, real estate projects in Abu Dhabi leading up to the 2008 and 2009 UAE real estate crash were at times even more ambitious than those in the federation’s second biggest emirate, Dubai.

"A strong and stable real estate sector is crucial to the realization of Abu Dhabi’s vision," says Greg Fewer, CFO of Aldar. "Now a national real estate champion can better utilize infrastructure and develop a single land bank with greater purpose and conviction than in a more fragmented sector."

The $2.3 billion merger has further significance for the future of Gulf M&A, by improving the scope for local and regional sector consolidation, which has up to now been rare.

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