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Malta Properties in talks to buy SmartCity majority stake

Dubai company consolidated last part of its Malta investment

Malta Properties Company, a company hived off from GO three years ago, is holding talks with SmartCity (Dubai) for the possible acquisition of its majority
shareholding in SmartCity (Malta).

"The company is in the initial stage of evaluating this potential opportunity through appropriate due diligence and will adhere to all applicable legal requirements throughout the process," Malta Properties said in a company announcement to the Stock Exchange.

SmartCity (Dubai) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai Holding LLC Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Designers' Urban Silence's artistic impression of what it should have looked like.Designers' Urban Silence's artistic impression of what it should have looked like.

The Emirates company had sold its 60 per cent shareholding in GO to Tunisie Telecom in August 2016 but had retained its shares in SmartCity. It also has shares in Malta Properties Company.

Read: No buyer of GO majority stake identified yet, EIT to retain holding in property company

Before the sale, GO hived off its property portfolio, worth more than €50 million, into Malta Properties Company.

SmartCity was to be the flagship of the Dubai company's investment in Malta. The $300 million knowledge-based township started in 2007 was touted at the time as the largest foreign investment in Malta and was expected to generate 5,600 jobs.

Read: Potential operators briefed in Dubai about SmartCity Malta

However, a number of factors put paid to the plans. Much of the site earmarked for residential development never materialised, and the offices were initially mostly used for relocation rather than to host new companies coming to Malta. 

The site now hosts a number of government agencies, including the Malta Gaming Authority, and will soon be the location of the new Institute of Tourism Studies.

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