UAE healthcare provider Al Noor Hospitals Group aims to raise some $150m through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to finance planned acquisitions.
The Abu Dhabi-based group, the largest private healthcare provider in the oil-rich emirate, is looking at several acquisition opportunities within the UAE, including a $50m 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 £117m ($186.9m), joining a growing list of Gulf companies seeking overseas listings in preference to moribund regional equity markets.
"Demand for healthcare is set to grow rapidly in the UAE (and) the IPO is to pursue expansion and ... growth opportunities," Alom said on a conference call with reporters.
The company plans to issue new and existing shares to secure a free float of readily tradeable shares of 30 to 45 percent of the total. It gave no further detail on the pricing and number of shares to be sold.
Al Noor chose to list in London to gain access to international investors, Alom said, 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.
Al Noor is owned by Ithmar Capital and its affiliates with 50 percent, and its two founders, Sheikh Mohammed bin Butti Al Hamed and CEO Dr Kassem Alom with 35 percent and 15 percent respectively.
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 $324.4m in 2012, netting a profit of $60.5m.
Abu Dhabi, wealthiest of the seven emirates which make up the UAE federation, is investing billions of dollars in industry, tourism, healthcare and infrastructure to diversify its economy away from oil.
In recent years, it has initiated moves to privatise the healthcare sector, bringing in international companies to manage its hospitals.For all the latest market news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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