Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, has advised leading education group Taaleem Holdings PSC (“Taaleem”) on a strategic acquisition in the education sector in the UAE, acquiring the Jebel Ali School (“JAS”) including the freehold title to the property from which JAS operates in DAMAC Hills, Dubai, from Emirates REIT.
The acquisition was a complex transaction with the transaction consideration comprising both the property purchase price and the settlement of JAS’ outstanding liabilities towards Emirates REIT.
Established in 1977, JAS is a leading British curriculum school in Dubai for students aged 3-18 years. JAS has an enviable reputation for being a much loved community school centered around the ethos that “better is always possible”. Following the acquisition of JAS, Taaleem will operate 26 schools in the UAE and will continue to preserve JAS’ long-standing heritage, reputation and community loyalty in Dubai.
Omar Momany, Partner and Head of the Corporate/M&A Practice Group of the firm in Dubai, commented: “The education sector is one of the robust growth sectors in the UAE, with investors looking to capitalize on strategic transactions including acquisitions and partnerships with both traditional and alternative education services providers. We are delighted to have supported Taaleem on their acquisition of the Jebel Ali School, which was a highly complex transaction to get across the line and which ultimately preserves the school’s integrity, independence, long history and continued growth.”
“At the heart of Taaleem’s successful acquisition of the Jebel Ali School was holistic legal advice on both the corporate and real estate aspects of the transaction, including the transfer of property and land and the negotiation and settlement of outstanding rental liabilities,” added Keri Watkins, Senior Lawyer and Head of the Real Estate Practice Group of the firm in Dubai. “This is a great example of our cross-practice teams working together to support our key clients to undertake highly strategic, complex and transformational transactions and to achieve their sustainable growth objectives.”
The transaction team at Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, was led by Corporate partner Omar Momany and Real Estate senior lawyer Keri Watkins and was supported by partner Joanna Matthews-Taylor and associates Tala Shomar, Sami Saygh, Jana Al-Afoo and Nora Chehouri.