Emaar & MGF group to launch voluntary cash offer for RSH

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Emaar Properties has joined forces with one of India's leading real estate developers, the MGF group, to launch a voluntary conditional cash offer for Singaporean retailer RSH.

Through their joint venture company, Golden Ace Pte Ltd., Emaar and MGF have made an offer of 69 US cents per share, valuing RSH at over US$240m. The offer is conditional upon RSH receiving acceptances from its shareholders.

Mr Hussain Al Qemzi, Vice Chairman of Emaar Properties said, "The economies of India, Middle East and Southeast Asia are booming, and in line with the economic growth, the retail sector presents substantial growth opportunities.Emaar Properties has embarked on a growth path through a two-pronged strategy of geographical expansion into diverse international markets and the development of new business segments, including retail, which is a strong component of that growth strategy."

RSH is a leading pan-Asian marketer, distributor and retailer of sports, golf, active lifestyle and fashion products listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited. The company has carved out, over three decades, a retail network encompassing more than 28 different retail concepts and incorporating over 430 free-standing stores and 570 shops-in-shop in 12 countries.The company also has the exclusive retail rights to operate top fashion brand-names including Zara, Massimo Dutti, Mango, bebe, Pull and Bear, Ted Baker and Women'Secret in numerous territories.

Al Qemzi said, "We have announced plans to establish, through our subsidiary Emaar Malls, an extensive infrastructure of over 150 malls across the Middle East and Indian sub-continent in the next few years."

The US$300bn Indian retail market is expected to grow by 10% to reach US$427bn by 2010, and by 2015, the total market value is tipped to reach US$637bn. Retail sales across Asia Pacific are also expected to show continued growth at an average of 5% for the first half of 2007. In the Middle East, it is predicted that the region's retail industry is expected to reach US$500bn by 2010

Siddharth Gupta, Group Director of MGF said, "With operations in 12 countries in Asia Pacific and Middle East and exclusive distribution rights to over 60 world-renowned brand names, RSH will be an excellent strategic partner in our bid to kick-start our retail business."

"We believe that RSH's established retail network in the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Southeast Asia and expertise in managing retail chains will be the catalyst that enable us to quickly gain a strong presence in the retail arena," Gupta said.

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