Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, GM of Union Properties, addresses the media at a press meet at the Union Properties Head Office on May 1st, 2017. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Union Properties has called an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders on May 25 to fill the three vacancies on its board of directors, including that of Khalid Bin Kalban, its chairman until Wednesday last week. There are seven members in the developer’s board.

The announcement of the EGM caps a dramatic seven days for the company, which started with a board of directors being elected at the annual general meeting on Wednesday last week.

The seven members then met separately and it was then decided that Nasser Butti Omair Bin Yousef would be the new Chairman and taking over from Bin Kalban, according to a senior official at Union Properties.

“It was subsequent to the BoD meeting that three existing members resigned and a new board will be constituted on May 25 by electing three new members,” said Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, Group General Manager at a media briefing on Monday (May 1). “This has subsequently been intimated to the stock market regulators.

“There will be a board meeting this Thursday to review existing projects. A detailed strategy of what Union Properties will do in future will be submitted later.”

But UP’s BoD transition had not been a smooth process in recent days. The stock was suspended by the regulator over perceived uncertainty over the situation. It was allowed to resume trading on Sunday, and its counter has been one of the most active since. In between, Bin Kalban also said the status with regard to the changes in the board of directors was not a done deal. (Until the sudden change in chairman, the seven member board elected last Wednesday did not have a re-election until 2020.) Al Marri’s briefing on Monday was to give the official version. “Following the resignations which were done verbally, the stock market regulator was informed and that’s why the restrictions on trading was lifted. There is no lack of clarity now. The investigation is over.”

According to Al Marri, it was natural for a chairman to step down from the board when a new one assumes the position. The other two directors to step down were Ali Fardan Ali Al Fardan and Mohammad Saif Darwish Ahmad.

In fact, one of the resolutions passed at last week’s AGM was not granting approval for members of the board to hold senior positions in companies within the same development space. It was done by overruling an existing article of association that provided such a right. Based on that, Bin Kalban would have become ineligible as he was holding senior positions at Dubai Investments, which has a quite active real estate development subsidiary.

The new UP Chairman, Bin Yousef, is also chairman of entities such as Bin Butti International Holdings and Sky Telecom Group.

Hamad Abdullah Mohammad Abdullah AlMass takes over as Vice-chairman, and is also managing director of 2invest and board member of the Abu Dhabi National Company for Building Material.

According to Al Marri, UP’s immediate development focus will continue to be on Motor City, with new projects likely to be announced later this year and early next. But what these were not revealed. But the general manager did say that the status of on-hold projects such as a mixed-use tower will be reviewed.

“We will present further options to the new board in due course and they will be taking action,” said Al Marri.

On Monday, the UP stock was quite active, gaining four fils to close at Dh1.06 from 60.8 million shares traded. In February, it had dipped below Dh1. The developer recorded a 51 per cent decline in net profits for 2016.