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Thu 31 May 2007 10:54 AM

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Medical venture eyes regional IPO

Salalah Medical, a new Oman-US medical manufacturing unit, could float within three years.

A US-Oman medical venture launched this month is looking to apply for its initial public offering (IPO) in the region within three years.

The medical equipment manufacturing centre, Salalah Medical Device Manufacturing Co., is a joint venture between US-based Ascent Medical Technology Fund II and Oman's Salalah Medical Supplies Manufacturing Co. (SMSMCo).

"We believe the facility will be able to IPO in the Middle East regional markets within three years of its establishment," said Peggy Farley, fund advisor and president and CEO of Ascent Capital Management.

"We expect returns to be no less than our 60% IRR [Internal Rate of Return] standards, likely above," she added.

Ascent Medical Technology Fund II was set up in 2005 with a $100 million investment to help advance the expansion of the medical technology industry in the Middle East.

The medical equipment manufacturing centre in Salalah is set to begin operations in early 2008.

It will build value-added medical device products for medical professionals in the US, European and GCC markets.

"This is the first step in building a world competitive medical technology industry in the Middle East," Farley said.

She predicts that the industry has the potential to rival that of the US, given the intellectual and financial capital in the region.

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