Emirates National Oil Co, the state-owned oil refiner in Dubai, has held discussions with banking advisers for a potential initial public offering of its fuel-retailing unit, on the heels of a similar move in Abu Dhabi, according to people familiar with the matter.
The retail arm of ENOC, as the company is known, could be valued at more than $7 billion in the event of a listing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. ENOC held talks with banks as recently as December, the people said. No final decisions have been made and the Dubai firm may decide not to pursue an IPO, the people said.
ENOC “is not planning for any IPO currently,” a representative for the company said in an emailed statement. “The group’s financial performance has been resilient throughout the downturn in the oil and gas industry, which is reflected in our ability to secure various sources of funding.”
A potential trading debut would follow a $851 million offering by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co’s fuel-retailing unit last month, and underscores the heightened interest in IPOs in the United Arab Emirates, which saw only two new share sales in 2015 and 2016. Emaar Properties raised $1.3 billion from equity in its development unit last year, while Mubadala Investment Co expects to list its Emirates Global Aluminium unit this year.
ENOC’s retail arm manages and operated 116 service stations in the UAE, reaching an estimated 90 million customers each year, according to its website. The parent company reported a profit of $1 billion in 2016 on revenues of $13.2 billion.For all the latest business 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.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.