In addition to its minority position in the Strategic Partnership, it is the intention of the partners that Gulfsands should act as the Operator under any Government Contract acquired by the Strategic Partnership. Gulfsands will also be entitled to acquire additional direct interests in the Projects alongside any participating interests acquired by the Strategic Partnership.
Cham Holding, a private joint stock company, was established in 2006 and then completed a US$360 million equity raising for investment in a range of sectors including the energy sector, power generation, real estate (including hotels and leisure), finance, health and education. Cham’s significant shareholders include the Al Mashreq Investment Fund, which recently became a substantial shareholder in Gulfsands, and a number of prominent Syrian businessmen and corporations.
Cham Holding, currently the largest private Syrian consortium, is chaired by Mr. Nabil Kuzbari and vice chaired by Mr. Rami Makhlouf. Cham Holding is currently developing projects that exceed in value more than one billion U.S. Dollars, including a wide variety of real estate and hospitality projects, some of which are being developed within joint ventures with well known international companies.
Maturing Middle East Strategy
In light of the Company’s recent exploration success at Khurbet East in Syria and the establishment of the Strategic Partnership, the Company will seek to build upon these important milestones with an expansion of its activities in the Middle East.
Gulfsands’ focus in the region will be on acquiring development or re-development projects with existing production infrastructure and proven oil and gas reserves, and on further exploitation and exploration projects with high potential upside, but lower technical risk. Gulfsands will concentrate on forming further strong working relationships with host governments and with local business interests in a similar manner to the Strategic Partnership formed with Cham Holding.
The Company’s identified opportunities in the Middle East for the short and long term includes:
Gulfsands’ Chairman, Andrew West, said:
"We are delighted to have reached agreement with Cham Holding for establishment of the Strategic Partnership which we view as important to our ambitions in the Middle East.
We are optimistic that, in partnership with Cham Holding, Gulfsands will be able to acquire direct and indirect interests in several potentially high-value energy projects which have already been identified in Syria and Iraq and which we have been considering in collaboration with certain shareholders of Cham Holding for some time."
Cham Holding’s Chairman, Nabil Kuzbari, said:
"Gulfsands is well known and respected in Syria as a highly professional operator and for its recent and significant exploration success at Khurbet East in the north east of Syria. Gulfsands is also widely recognized for its ability to work with local companies and its competence in efficiently meeting technical challenges and executing commercial projects.
For some time now, we have enjoyed a close working relationship with Gulfsands’ management and directors and are therefore pleased to be working with Gulfsands in pursuing several high value energy projects where we believe our combined skill sets will help us secure one or more significant projects and provide us with the opportunity to create a great deal of value for our respective shareholders."
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