Marka buys sports retailer

Marka buys sports retailer

Published: January 6, 2015

Recently listed Dubai firm picks up Retailcorp for US$60mn.

Dubai retail and hospitality company Marka has acquired Retailcorp, the operator of a chain of 15 sports goods shops, for AED220mn (US$59.8mn). The company was acquired from Istithmar, a subsidiary of state investment company Dubai World.

The acquisition is being funded through a mix of cash and bank lending, and will grow Marka’s footprint in the sports retail segment, one of the firm’s three main focuses along with fashion and hospitality.

In September 2014 Marka became the first company in five years to list on the Dubai Financial Market, raising US$75mn with a 55% stake. It was a greenfield IPO, sold on the strength of the company’s backers and strategy rather than its assets or business record.

Khaled Almheiri, vice-chairman of Marka, said of the acquisition of Retailcorp: “We are confident that this acquisition will have an immediate positive impact on Marka’s revenues and profits. It will position Marka to become operationally profitable in 2015, its first full year of operations, which will reflect positively on Marka and its shareholders, who number approximately 6,000.”