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25 April 20233 minute read

DLA Piper advises AD Ports on USD1.9 billion UAE accommodation merger

DLA Piper has advised AD Ports Group on the merger of its KEZAD Communities operation with Al Eskan Al Jamae Group (EAJ), creating Abu Dhabi’s largest integrated staff accommodation company. The combined entity will have an equity value of approximately USD1.9 billion (AED7 billion).

KEZAD Communities is part of the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) which operates under AD Ports Group’s Economic Cities and Free Zones. EAJ is a leading staff accommodation owner and operator in Abu Dhabi that owns and operates ICAD Residential City in Mussafah, with a capacity of 58,000 beds including recreational amenities such as restaurants and a mall.

The transaction, which has recently completed, sees AD Ports retain a controlling majority stake in the new entity. Following the merger, KEZAD Communities will own and manage 135,000 beds and will provide customers with integrated staff accommodation solutions comprising amenities and facilities such as medical centres, gardens, sports areas, dining halls, mosques, supermarket and laundry. 

Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO of Economic Cities & Free Zones, AD Ports Group said: “KEZAD Group continues to look for opportunities to leverage our assets and fully support the growth of priority industrial sectors in line with the vision of our wise leadership. This merger with EAJ significantly expands the number of staff accommodation assets under our control and extends the range of support services we can offer to our customers. The merger enhances KEZAD Communities’ staff accommodation business and provides an opportunity to enhance the quality and sustainability of staff communities across the UAE. We look forward to continuing the development of services in this critical market and contributing to the wider national goal of economic diversification.”

Will Seivewright, Partner in DLA Piper’s Corporate Practice, said: “We are delighted to have advised AD Ports Group on this strategic merger which will be transformational for the sector. This merger has significantly bolstered KEZAD Communities' staff accommodation business and will significantly enhance the quality and sustainability of staff accommodation facilities across the UAE. Advising on transactions such as this demonstrates the strength of our UAE capabilities and why as a firm we are the world’s most active M&A legal practice.”

The DLA Piper team was led by Will Seivewright, Middle East Head of Corporate, and Duncan Pickering, Middle East Head of Real Estate working alongside Robert Harker (Partner, Project Finance), Nicola De Sylva (Legal Director, Real Estate), Mona Lemp (Senior Associate, Corporate), Nassar Nassar (Associate, Corporate), Lauren Greig (Associate, Real Estate) and Rayane Hayek (Paralegal, Corporate). The in-house legal team at AD Ports Group was led by Jason Walters and Jai Kumar.   

About AD Ports Group

Established in 2006, AD Ports Group today serves as one of the world’s premier facilitators of logistics, industry, and trade, as well as a bridge linking Abu Dhabi to the world. Listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX: ADPORTS), AD Ports Group’s vertically integrated business approach has proven instrumental in driving the emirate’s economic development over the past decade.

Operating several clusters covering Ports, Economic Cities & Free Zones, Maritime, Logistics, and Digital, AD Ports Group’s portfolio comprises 10 ports and terminals, and more than 550 square kilometres of economic zones within KEZAD Group, the largest integrated trade, logistics, and industrial business grouping in the Middle East.

AD Ports Group is rated A+ by S&P and A+ Outlook Stable by Fitch.

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