Mannai Corporation acquires a 35% stake in Axiom Limited
Mannai Corporation QSC has acquired a 35% shareholding interest in Axiom Limited, the UAE-based largest pan–GCC mobile handset retailer and distributor that trades under the Axiom Telecom brand.
Axiom Telecom is the largest primary authorised retailer and distributor of leading international brands of mobile phones in the GCC region and is a strategic partner of du and Mobily, leading mobile operators in the UAE and KSA respectively. Axiom currently has over  stores and over [3,200] points of sale in the UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait and India. The Axiom group also has strategic interests in associated companies operating in the Indian and South African mobile phone retail markets.
Alekh Grewal, Chief Executive Officer, Mannai Corporation commented “The acquisition by Mannai of a significant stake in Axiom reflects our growth strategy as we seek to expand into selected regional markets and builds upon our successful acquisition in 2010 of a significant stake in 'UtilNet', a Jordanian IT company. Our investment in Axiom not only brings to Mannai Corporation the strategic advantage of joining a market leading presence in the countries where Axiom operates, it also enhances Mannai’s strategy of constantly diversifying its business portfolio, a key factor of a long history of successful expansion”.
HSBC Bank Middle East advised and acted as lead arranger for the financing portion of the transaction. Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi, CEO of HSBC Bank Middle East in Qatar, said “Mannai Corporation has been a key client of HSBC in Doha for over 50 years and HSBC was pleased to be able to support Mannai with this strategic transaction”.
Commenting on the announcement, Faisal Al Bannai, Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Telecom, said: “we are happy to welcome a new shareholder in Axiom Telecom. This deal shows the confidence of Mannai in the business model and vision of Axiom and the ability of its management to continue to create shareholder value. With this deal we are now in a great position to further boost our growth and dominance in the region. I look forward to taking the company to the next level with the active support of its shareholders and partners”
Legal adviser to Mannai Corporation QSC
Corporate Partner Mike Taylor commented:
"We are delighted to have advised Mannai on its strategic investment in Axiom, one of the best known retail brands in the Middle East. Clifford Chance's team played a crucial role in achieving a successful close to the corporate and finance aspects of the transaction in an extremely challenging time frame. Our work with Mannai is an example of Clifford Chance's relationships in Qatar, which will continue to strengthen with the recent opening of our office in Doha."