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Mon 28 Nov 2016 11:33 AM

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Dubai's Emicool on acquisition mode, ready for IPO, says Kalban

Emirates District Cooling chief says all the necessary procedures are in place for stock market listing

Dubai's Emicool on acquisition mode, ready for IPO, says Kalban

Emirates District Cooling (Emicool), a Dubai-based district cooling company, is ready for a stock market listing as it plans to grow through strategic acquisitions.

“We have grown organically till now, but if we want to grow fast we need acquire companies. And we are in the search for companies,” chairman Khalid bin Kalban, told Arabian Business.

The company is an equally owned joint venture between M’Sharie, the private equity arm of Dubai Investments, and Union Properties, a real estate developer.

“A lot of companies came and told us why we don’t merge. We are saying ‘why we don’t acquire you even if we are a smaller entity’,” he said.

Though the talks of a public listing have been on for a long time, Kalban, who is also the chief executive officer of Dubai Investments, said Emicool has all the necessary listing procedures in place.

“In 2014, the market picked up and we jumped on it. We appointed a consultant to work on the initial public offering (IPO) who asked us to fix a couple of things from corporate governance point of view such as setting up of an audit committee and compensation/remuneration committee. It took us almost a year to complete the process, but then the market had moved the other way around,” he said.

“The current market conditions, however, do not support Emicool’s valuation, Kalban said, citing a total of 13 IPOs being put on hold this year.

“There is one listed [district cooling] company in the market and we cannot compare ourselves to that… it will be haphazard [for us]. We have structured the debt… the company is performing well and profit is growing. Emicool sits with strong foundations and growth of Motor City and Dubai Investments Park (DIP) will add value,” he added.

In August 2016, Emicool won a contract for a 25 year supplier to for district cooling service for Akoya by Damac development.

Earlier this year, the company said it was in the process of increasing capacity at its DIP plant to 250,000 tonnes of refrigeration (TR) from 115,000 tonnes as part of its long-term strategy to develop 500,000 TR by 2020. The new expansion is estimated to increase its market share to 20 percent from 12 percent.

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