Dr Kassem Alom
UAE healthcare group plans London listing
Abu Dhabi, May 28, 2013
UAE healthcare provider Al Noor Hospitals Group aims to raise some $150 million through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to finance planned acquisitions.
The largest private healthcare provider in Abu Dhabi, Al Noor is looking at several acquisition opportunities within the UAE, including a $50 million speciality treatment centre, said Sami Alom, chief strategy officer, declining to provide further details.
Al Noor is the second UAE healthcare company to launch an IPO and list on the LSE. In 2012, NMC Healthcare raised 117 million pounds ($186.9 million), joining a growing list of Gulf companies seeking overseas listings in preference to moribund regional equity markets.
Al Noor is owned by Ithmar Capital and its affiliates with 50 per cent, and its two founders, Sheikh Mohammed bin Butti Al Hamed and CEO Dr Kassem Alom with 35 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
"There are strong trends driving the demand for healthcare in the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi in particular, including a rapidly ageing population, increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and a determination by regulators to broaden service capabilities," stated Dr Alom.
"An IPO will provide Al Noor with the capital to meet these demands by allowing us to continue to expand our service offering, our outpatient medical centre network, grow organically within existing facilities and consider acquisitions across the UAE," he added.
The company plans to issue new and existing shares to secure a free float of readily tradeable shares of 30 to 45 per cent of the total.
The IPO will comprise an issue of new shares by the company and a partial sale of existing shares held by some of its current shareholders and will be offered to global institutional investors in the US and UK.
Al Noor chose to list in London to gain access to international investors, said Dr Alom, adding bookbuilding for the IPO and listing would be in the latter half of next month.
Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs are mandated joint sponsors and global coordinators, with HSBC Holdings as joint bookrunner for the IPO.
Ian Tyler, the non-executive chairman, said, "Al Noor is a well-established business with a differentiated service model. The company has an excellent reputation for high quality standards and has led the development of Abu Dhabi’s private healthcare sector in terms of hospital and physician accreditation as well as inpatient satisfaction levels."
"Al Noor remains committed to the UAE market, but has chosen to list on the London Stock Exchange due to its access to an international investor base, leading regulatory standards and international profile," he stated.
In December, Reuters reported that the consortium which owns half of Al Noor planned to revive a sale of its stake through a stock market listing in 2013.
The group operates three hospitals and nine medical centres and has the largest market share among private healthcare providers for both outpatients and inpatients, according to the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi's latest report.
Al Noor achieved revenue of $324.4 million in 2012, netting a profit of $60.5 million.-Reuters and TradeArabia News Service
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