The Aldar base in Abu Dhabi. The UAE mega-developer is striking out into its second overseas market with the UK deal. Image Credit: Afra Mubarak Al Nofeli/ Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE developer Aldar has made its second big overseas acquisition, by buying the whole of UK developer London Square. The deal has an enterprise value of Dh1.07 billion (or 230 million pounds).

"The move is aimed at accelerating growth, diversifying revenue streams, unlocking synergies, and driving cross-selling opportunities," said the Abu Dhabi mega-developer in a statement. Aldar made a specific mention of expanding its direct interests in mature overseas markets - and the UK and London specifically ticks that point in fine detail.

"Aldar will gain a meaningful foothold in the diverse and dynamic London property market, known for its resilience and enduring appeal to both local and international investors," the statement added.

Last year, Aldar along with another Abu Dhabi investment company ADQ bought Sodic, an Egyptian developer of upscale residential communities. The UAE developer, which is having an exceptionally strong year financially, has been deploying its cash in a series of deals - and launches - outside of Abu Dhabi.

Having just launched its first project in Dubai (the first releases sold out immediately), Aldar another, this time in Ras Al Khaimah. And in Abu Dhabi, the developer has been keeping the supply pipeline going strong right through.

Our recently announced international expansion strategy centers on exploring opportunities to acquire or partner with established operating platforms in our target markets

- Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group CEO of Aldar Properties

A sizeable portfolio

As for London Square, which came into being in 2010 with backing from Ares Management, its development pipeline is valued at 2 billion pounds plus. It has completed over 3,500 homes and with a further 930 units under construction (valued at 425 million pounds). The projects include the Nine Elms development, close to easily recognisable Battersea Power Station landmark. (The whole area in fact is now one of London's trendiest mixed-use destinations.)

Nine Elms features over 750 luxury homes - as well as affordable housing - rental apartments, and 21,500 square feet of commercial and retail space at the 'heart of central London’s largest regeneration area'.

Buying London Square, the transaction is expected to have a 'positive impact on (Aldar's) sales, given the potential for capitalizing on cross-selling across both companies' diverse international customer networks', Aldar added in the statement. The UAE entity's development sales during the first nine months of 2023 totalling hit Dh19.4 billion.

"The transaction, which is synergistic in nature, gives us the ability to leverage our mutual strengths," said Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group CEO of Aldar Properties. 

We look forward to playing a leading role in tackling the (UK) housing shortage by providing more much-needed homes in the capital and surrounding areas where there is a continuing lack of supply

- Adam Lawrence, founder and Chief Executive of London Square