Al Mal Capital acquires two schools in Ajman for AED300 million

Campuses of Al Shola Private Schools in Ajman leased back to the operator for management and operation 

Dubai, Nov 22, 2021: DFM listed Al Mal Capital REIT, a subsidiary of Dubai Investments PJSC has acquired two campuses of Al Shola Private Schools in Ajman, UAE for AED 300 million. 

The deal, aimed at creating more financial flexibility for the management, is based on sale and leaseback transactions. The schools will be managed and operated by the operator as the new owners have leased them back to the operator for a long-term period.  

“This agreement aims to provide more financial efficiency for the group of schools ensuring the cash flows necessary for proper operation, as well as to provide the necessary support towards enhancing the quality of education coupled with qualified human competencies, modern technologies and other parameters that facilitate good education to the students in the UAE,” says Ibrahim Barakeh, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Manager of Al Shola Schools. 

The two acquired schools, part of the Al Shola Group, are almost identical with a total land area of approximately 300,000 Sq. ft and a built-up area of approximately 495,800 Sq.ft. 

The current student enrollment stands at 3,350 students with a total capacity to accommodate up to 4,300 students. Al Mal Capital was advised by Al Tamimi & Co (Legal) and CBRE (Valuation).  

“The acquisition of these schools is part of the investment mandate of Al Mal Capital REIT to acquire income-generating real estate assets with a strong focus on education and healthcare sectors,” says Naser Al Nabulsi, Vice Chairman and CEO of Al Mal Capital.  

According to him, the acquisition marks Al Mal Capital’s first transaction this year and designed to provide a steady income, long term capital appreciation and diversification benefits to the REIT’s stakeholders. He described it as, “a very optimistic move in terms of channelising the resources in line with the mandate of the REIT… With the educational sector bolstering and attracting significant interest in the investment landscape, these acquisitions are positioned to generate cash flows enabling incremental monetisation of the investment through consistent dividends”, he added. 

Al Shola Group, founded in 1983, currently operates 5 schools (3 in Sharjah and 2 in Ajman) with a total current number of students of circa 10,700 and a total capacity of almost 13,250 students.