Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Rules Out IPO, Plans Egypt, Saudi Expansion

The Dubai-based conglomerate will open its first Magic Planet In Saudi Arabia this year.



Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim is not planning on listing in the market anytime soon, Alain Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding, confirmed on Sunday.

“We have no plans for an IPO for any of our subsidiaries or the overall company,” he told reporters.

While admitting that it is a “good time in the market for an IPO”, he said the company had no requirement for one at present.

Bejjani, who took over as the group CEO in February this year, also said that the conglomerate is moving ahead with its expansion strategy to double its size over the next five years.

Launched 20 years ago in Dubai, Majid Al Futtaim currently operates in 13 markets, and owns and operates 17 ‫‬shopping malls, 11 hotels and three mixed-use communities across the MENA.

It also holds exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 38 markets across MEA and Central Asia, operating a portfolio of over 50 hypermarkets and over 60 supermarkets.

The MAF Ventures arm operates 129 VOX Cinemas screens, 17 Magic Planets and entertainment facilities such as Ski Dubai and iFly Dubai.

As part of its five-year plan, the company is targeting international growth in key regional markets.

Earlier this month, the company revealed plans to invest an additional 4.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($590 million) in Egypt, bringing its total investment over the next five years to 22.5 billion Egyptian pounds.

Projects will include building new malls, introduction of VOX Cinemas and expanding old shopping centres.

“We work closely with the Egyptian and UAE governments regarding our plans and we are confident about growth in the country,” Bejjani said, adding the company’s investment was purely based on its long-term strategy.

The conglomerate is also working on expanding its presence in Saudi Arabia, and will be opening its first Magic Planet in the Kingdom in mid-2015.

While the company’s malls and hotels arm, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, has been working on entering the Kingdom for a few years now, Bejjani said there was no specific timeline for any new launch.

“Saudi Arabia requires multi-year preparations,” he said, confirming that they were not working with any partners in the country.

While aggressively expanding across the region, Bejjani remained optimistic about further growth in Dubai. The UAE, and specifically Dubai continues to account for a “big” percentage of the group’s overall turnover, he said.

“As long as Dubai sees strong tourism growth, there will always be room for more – quality – malls.

“Currently we have a 25 per cent marketshare in the emirate in terms of total retail leasing space and we are confident about growing further in this market.”