Lumina Launches DIFC Office

Monday 18 September 2017
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Specialist corporate finance firm, Lumina Capital Advisers Ltd (Lumina), has announced its move to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), from where it will continue to offer financial advisory services.  Regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Lumina provides services focused on M&A, equity capital, debt advisory, and infrastructure project financing under a Category 4 license. Lumina’s team of senior partners have an extensive track record including cross border experience and sector capabilities across a wide range of industries.

George Traub, Founder and Managing Partner of Lumina commented: “Dubai is home to a multitude of business owners who may be unaware of the corporate finance and M&A opportunities available to them. Too often, business owners approach us after their company has passed its growth phase. At this point, the business requires a step change in both the investment requirement and the associated risk to reach the next phase of its potential. This often leads to what we refer to as a “valuation gap” between company and investor or buyer and seller in the case of M&A. We typically advise our clients to consider seeking funding or exiting 18-24 months before the business is anticipated to reach its peak growth. This minimises the potential of a ‘valuation gap’, and increases the chance of a successful M&A transaction or a funding solution that creates the most value for both the company and investors.”

Lumina defines the ‘valuation gap’ as the perceived value difference between buyer and seller or investor and company. According to Lumina, owner-managers rarely plan their exit and typically consider selling their business when it requires a step change in the investment cycle. This often leads to an enhanced level of capital requirement and risk from a purchaser’s perspective and hence a lower valuation, which is referred to as the “valuation gap”. The valuation gap significantly reduces the chance of executing a successful deal.  From Lumina’s experience, most successful M&A activity for owner managed businesses occur when the business is 8-12 years old.

Mark Adams, Chairman of Lumina concluded: “We are delighted to become a member of the DIFC community. The DIFC is comprised of an exceptional calibre of businesses operating within it, and the connectivity it provides between Middle East companies and international marketplaces and expertise brings a distinct competitive advantage for businesses. There are a vast number of owner-managed businesses operating in the MENA region and particularly in the UAE. As these businesses continue to expand both in size and complexity corporate finance and M&A services are becoming an essential strategic tool for growing private companies. DFSA-regulated firms based in the DIFC community are the best choice for companies looking for this kind of strategic counsel.”

The Lumina team has advised on a wide range of transactions, in sectors including healthcare, education, hospitality, construction, manufacturing & distribution. Over the last 36 months the specialist M&A team has closed 5 transactions on complex deals for owner-managed businesses in excess of US$ 150 million. The firm recently announced the successful deal closing of DIFC-based Total Solutions Middle East’s (TSME) sale to Vistra, one of the world's leading corporate service providers. Lumina, represented the shareholders of TSME on the sale and negotiated an innovative structure for the cross-border deal with Vistra.  

Lumina is rapidly developing a strong reputation as the premier firm for advisory services to owner-managed and private companies in the UAE. The firm also advises on funding solutions including equity capital, debt, project financing, and capital restructuring for companies seeking growth capital.

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