Goldman Leads $1.15bn Project Loans For Dubai Theme Parks

The project financing will fund construction of the parks, along with equity provided by Meraas investment group and the $689 million initial public offering (IPO) of 40 per cent of Dubai Parks and Resorts.



Goldman Sachs is expected to sign a $1.15 billion project financing loan for Dubai Park and Resorts this week, which will finance the construction of a $2.9 billion amusement park complex in Dubai, banking sources said on Wednesday.

The loan has been underwritten by Goldman Sachs, which led and structured the deal, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank International, Emirates National Bank of Dubai, and Noorbank, the sources said.

Dubai Park and Resorts is part of property developer Meraas Holding, which is owned by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Construction of the amusement park, which will contain three linked amusement parks, Motiongate, based on films made by DreamWorks Animation and Sony Pictures, LEGOLAND Dubai and Bollywood Parks, as well as hotels and shopping, is key to Dubai’s drive to expand as an international tourist destination.

The project financing will fund construction of the parks, along with equity provided by Meraas investment group and the $689 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 40 per cent of Dubai Parks and Resorts, which was announced on Tuesday.

The 10-12 year project financing will benefit from support from Meraas and will be sold in a wider syndication that is expected to start shortly, bankers said.

The new 16 million square foot (1.5 million square metre) entertainment complex in Jebel Ali will help Dubai meet its plans to double annual tourist numbers to 20 million in 2020 from 10 million in 2012, and treble tourism income in that time.

Work began on the project in February 2014 and completion is expected by the end of September 2016.

IPO PLANS

The IPO will be marketed to institutional and retail investors in the next two weeks. Book building will run from Nov. 17-30 and is expected to close on Nov. 27 for institutional investors and Nov. 30 for retail investors.

Emirates NBD, Goldman Sachs and HSBC are joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on the IPO along with EFG Hermes. Shuaa Capital is co-lead manager.

Qualified institutional investors will be eligible to buy 60 per cent of the 2.53 billion shares on offer at Dhs1 each.

Ten percent of the offer will be allocated to retail investors, 25 per cent to wealthy individuals wishing to buy a minimum of five million shares each, and 60 per cent to institutions ordering at least 10 million shares.

The remaining five per cent is reserved for the UAE government’s Emirates Investment Authority (EIA), as is the case on all UAE listings.

If the EIA does not take up the five percent, those shares will be made available in the “natural persons” category.