Shuaa Capital PSC’s main shareholders are in early-stage talks to sell down their stakes in the Dubai-based investment bank, offering potential buyers access to one of the Gulf region’s oldest financial institutions.
As part of the plans, the bank’s Managing Director Jassim Alseddiqi - one of the top shareholders with about a 25 per cent stake - plans to pare down his holdings and step down to focus on a career in technology, research and academia. Other major holders are also in talks to sell down their stakes, according to people familiar with the matter.
“In line with this transition and my evolving direction and endeavors, I’ve decided to reposition my stake in Shuaa Capital, paving the way for new shareholders,” Alseddiqi said in a post on LinkedIn.
Shareholders including Alseddiqi, who collectively own more than 50 per cent of the bank’s shares, are in talks with several potential advisers including Lazard Ltd, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The shareholders’ preference would be for a single strategic buyer or consortium, but might eventually decide not to sell, or only part with some of their holdings, the people said.
Representatives for Shuaa and Lazard weren’t immediately available for comment.
Founded in 1979, Shuaa has been involved in landmark transactions such as the $5 billion Dubai initial public offering of global ports operator DP World in 2007. In recent years, the firm has undergone several restructurings, ownership and management changes.
More recently, the bank is trying to rebuild its investment banking franchise again by hiring former Credit Suisse bankers. The firm’s market capitalisation exceeds 1 billion dirhams ($272 million) and it has close to $5 billion in assets under management.