Aldar Properties (Aldar), the leading real estate developer, investor, and manager in the UAE, has fully acquired the London-based developer, London Square, marking its first international acquisition beyond the MENA region.
The acquisition, representing an enterprise value of $291 million (AED 1.07 billion), is aligned with Aldar’s strategic vision of expanding into key and mature international markets. The move is aimed at accelerating growth, diversifying revenue streams, unlocking synergies, and driving cross-selling opportunities.
By exporting its expertise to the UK market through the acquisition of an established and reputable operating platform, Aldar will gain a meaningful foothold in the diverse and dynamic London property market, known for its resilience and enduring appeal to both local and international investors.
Aldar and London Square have a shared vision and approach to creating world-class developments, anchored in high quality design, sustainability, and customer service excellence. Moreover, this transaction represents a new phase of growth for both entities and will provide two-way benefits, delivering a positive impact for communities and bringing new opportunities to the customers each company serves.
By combining capabilities and talents, the acquisition equally paves the way for a new phase of growth for both entities. Aldar intends to leverage its expertise and balance sheet to support London Square’s land acquisition strategy to enable it to develop larger and prime central London sites. Additionally, the transaction is expected to have a positive impact on sales, given the potential for capitalizing on cross-selling across both companies’ diverse international customer networks, with Aldar’s development sales during the first 9 months of 2023 totaling $5.2 billion (AED 19.4 billion).
London Square and Aldar are a complementary fit, with both entities’ businesses highly compatible on several fronts including robust governance, corporate culture, development quality and brand reputation. The company’s seasoned management team and well-established industry relationships, together with its strong commitment to sustainability, customer-centricity and shared values further reinforce the compatibility and synergy with Aldar.
Founded on driving growth, knowledge sharing, strong returns, and market leadership, this acquisition represents a strong vote of confidence in London Square’s expert management team and business model, while it also recognizes the company’s track record of securing planning consent, leveraging its strong relationship with local authorities, and extensive experience in delivering complex brownfield sites and building homes across all tenures of the highest quality and design.
“Our recently announced international expansion strategy centers on exploring opportunities to acquire or partner with established operating platforms in our target markets. The acquisition of London Square represents our first market entry outside of the region, and is a testament to the company’s management team, governance framework, and business model which has consistently delivered strong performance. The transaction, which is synergistic in nature, gives us the ability to leverage our mutual strengths, shared values, and common approach to homebuilding to scale London Square while bringing the best of Aldar to bear in the UK’s property market, as we continue to build our foothold outside of the region.”
Mr. Adam Lawrence, Founder and Chief Executive of London Square said that “This is an outstanding outcome for London Square. Aldar is an exemplary company with an unrivalled reputation and their strength and breadth of knowledge and experience will enable London Square to flourish and extend its presence across Greater London and the Southeast. Since establishing London Square in 2010, the company has enjoyed significant organic growth, with the support of Ares Management funds for the past nine years.”
“We would like to thank Ares Management for their contribution to the success of London Square. Becoming part of Aldar is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the future of London Square. We look forward to playing a leading role in tackling the housing shortage by providing more much-needed homes in the capital and surrounding areas where there is a continuing lack of supply,” Mr. Lawrence added.
Since its establishment in 2010, London Square has successfully created a development pipeline worth over $2.5 billion. Leveraging its expertise and reputation for regenerating former industrial sites to deliver positive social impact, its notable development projects include the London Square Nine Elms development, strategically located in close proximity to the iconic Battersea Power Station. This flagship project features over 750 luxury homes, affordable housing, rental apartments, and a substantial 21,500 square feet of commercial and retail space at the heart of central London’s largest regeneration area.
London Square operates numerous segments across its business, enabling Aldar to diversify its development and portfolio exposure into new areas of strategic focus. This includes its core private for sale division, London Square Developments, which creates high-quality homes and new communities within Greater London.
The company’s London Square Works offering houses its commercial arm focused on developing office, retail, and leisure space, and attracting operators to new destinations in order help to drive the local economy. London Square Living, which houses the company’s build-to-rent division, addresses the need for quality rental homes in London and through Square Roots, a registered affordable housing provider, the company develops well-designed social rent and affordable homes across the capital.
The United Kingdom, and London in particular, remains a global hub and a strong real estate market, presenting an attractive entry point for Aldar. There is significant value on offer with the market characterized by a structural undersupply of new homes, enabling Aldar to execute its long-term investment strategy for sustained value creation.