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It's nearly neck and neck for Dubai's Emirates REIT and opposing investors ahead of June 7 vote

Dubai: It is now down to the wire in the race between the Dubai property fund Emirates REIT and an investor group opposed to its latest plans to win a majority ahead of the Jun 7 deadline.

According to the opposing investors – calling themselves the ‘Ad Hoc Group – they now have sewn up support from 40 per cent of those who had invested in the $400 million Sukuk issued by Emirates REIT fund manager Equitativa in 2017. The Group received a big boost on Wednesday when a major international firm holding exposure in the Sukuk decided to join.

Now, as per the Ad Hoc Group’s calculations, there is only a 5 per cent difference between the blocs in favour and those opposed to the latest plans. Al of which could make for a few more action packed days ahead of the June 7 deadline for submission of votes.

Ad Hoc Group demand
Ad Hoc Group urges Emirates REIT not to oversee and ignore the specific requests made to them that will bring long-term benefit to all certificate-holders and the company’s shareholders; Additional institutional investors (have) expressed their support to the Ad Hoc Group, indicating greater opposition to the proposed transaction. Collectively, the Ad-Hoc Group and such other investors together represent 40% of certificates outstanding who oppose the 'consent solicitation'. Ad-Hoc Group has appointed Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a law firm with expertise acting for Ad-hoc committees in contentious and non-contentious capital markets restructurings.

What is the vote for?

Equitativa had made a proposal to issue new Sukuk certificates – with a maturity date in December 2024 – to replace the current ones, which will mature late 2022. The fund manager had offered additional sweeteners to convince investors in the Sukuk – but some of them were not willing to buy in.

All investors have to submit their support or not by evening June 7 on the Sukuk certificate proposal. Which is why all those investors yet to make up their minds will be critical to swing the vote one-way or the other.

“Voting data provided by Emirates REIT continues to show that investors representing the majority of certificates outstanding (55 per cent) oppose or did not vote for the consent solicitation as at 26 May,” the Ad Hoc Group said in a statement.

“Certificate-holders representing only 45 per cent of Certificates outstanding have, according to the data provided, voted in favour. Given that the consent solicitation is structured to incentivise early voting, the Ad-Hoc Group believes that more recent voting data will show the scale of opposition.

“The Ad-Hoc Group calls again on Emirates REIT to provide the latest voting data to validate its counter-claim that it has a majority, in the interests of full transparency and to avoid the potential spread of misinformation.”

The ball is in Equtativa’s court…