Marka Finalises Sale of Cheeky Monkeys

  • Sale generates a tenfold gross return on original investment

Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA), the first public joint stock retail focused company in the UAE, has finalized the sale of its 60% stake in Cheeky Monkeys to Evolvence Knowledge Investments Ltd. (EKI), securing the company a tenfold gross return on its original equity investment.

Cheeky Monkeys – the Dubai-based children’s indoor play area operator – was originally acquired by Marka in May 2015 at a value of AED 28.5 million by way of a leveraged transaction. The sale of Marka’s equity stake in Cheeky Monkeys was approved by the Marka board with a final exit price of AED 84 million.

Khaled Al Mheiri, Vice Chairman of Marka, commented: “The strategic decision to sell Marka’s stake in Cheeky Monkeys was made with great confidence by the Board. As we narrow our focus within the retail sector, we had an unprecedented opportunity to achieve a remarkable return on our initial investment as well as subsequently use the proceeds to streamline our portfolios. ”

The total profit to Marka upon the completion of the sale amounts to AED 53.8 million after deducting the interest on the borrowings and is generating a net return of 928% on the original investment.

The Cheeky Monkeys franchise saw promising growth as the company opened a new outlet in Ras Al-Khaimah in January 2017 – the first appearance for the home-grown brand outside Dubai – and also signed the first international expansion and franchise agreement for Cheeky Monkeys in March 2016, which outlined plans to open a further nine outlets in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.