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Top Abu Dhabi Developer Buys London Square for $291 mln

Dec 1 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties has bought London-based developer London Square for an enterprise value of 1.07 billion dirhams ($291 million) in its first acquisition outside the Middle East.

"Aldar intends to leverage its expertise and balance sheet to support London Square's land acquisition strategy to enable it to develop larger and prime central London sites," the two companies said in a joint statement on Friday.

The companies said the transaction should also have a positive impact on sales, given the opportunities to cross-sell across their respective customer base.

Established in 2010, London Square is widely known for its Nine Elms development, located in proximity to the Battersea Power Station.

The development features over 750 luxury homes, affordable housing and 21,500 square feet of commercial and retail space.

Aldar is 25%-owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company and 26%-owned by International Holding Company, which is part of a business empire overseen by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE's national security adviser and brother to the president.

Britain's housing market boomed during the pandemic but lost much of its momentum as the central bank raised interest rates 14 times in a row between December 2021 and August this year, before pausing in September.

A survey in July showed higher rates have had a market impact on house-building and some other business sectors.

Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are increasingly going after global deals through their state-backed companies as part of a strategy to transform local companies into regional and global players.

Abu Dhabi's Emirates Telecommunications Group acquired a 9.8% stake in Vodafone last year for around $4.4 billion and gradually built it up to 14.6% by April this year.

In September, Saudi Arabia's STC Group acquired a 9.9% stake in Telefonica worth 2.1 billion euros to become the Spanish telecom giant's top shareholder.

($1 = 3.6720 UAE dirham)

Reporting by Hatem Maher; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Sonia Cheema and Sohini Goswami

Source: Reuters

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