UAE’s Dodsal Group eyes listing by 2014

President sees 2012 as banner year for conglomerate, expects ‘enormous profits’
UAE’s Dodsal Group eyes listing by 2014
The number of Gulf IPOs plunged in wake of the global downturn
By Ed Attwood
Sun 23 Oct 2011 08:29 AM

The Dodsal Group, a UAE-based conglomerate with interests in construction and energy, will conduct an IPO within three years, the company’s chairman and owner has said.

“I think in under three years – so between 2013 and 2014,” Rajen Kilachand told Arabian Business, on the sidelines of the HSBC Trade Connections event in Dubai.

[Click here for photos of the event]

“There are capital requirements, and we have a great deal on our plate to implement. And of course, we would like to ensure that the majority of the capital - which is the value of the company - that part of that is in our bank accounts, in cash, to put it very simply.”

When questioned as to whether either group subsidiaries or the entire group itself would list, the chairman answered: “The majority”.

Kilachand added that the group had deliberately spent 18 months concentrating on consolidation, but claimed that 2012 would be “a banner year”.

The number of GCC-family owned companies looking to go public plunged in the wake of the economic downturn. The total value of IPOs in the Middle East dropped 94.8 percent to its lowest in five years in the first quarter of 2011, Ernst & Young said in March.

Aside from its engineering and construction business, which is focused on the Gulf, India and North Africa, Dodsal is nearing the launch of commercial mining and energy operations in East Africa.

“We’ve found gold, and we are now going into the last phases of investigation prior to actual mining operations on the gold, and on the oil and gas we will start drilling some time in the third quarter of next year, and let’s see what happens,” Kilachand added.

“We’re carrying out the mining operation on our own for the time being. But let’s see what we have next year, how much we have. It’s too early, because the investments could be very huge, and we may have to raise capital. You may choose to raise it on your own with stock markets, or with private equity and/or take another partner for whatever reason – we shall see.”

In addition, he said that the company was working on developing a new fast-food chain based on Indian street foods, which would be deployed to the UK, the Gulf and India.

The Dodsal Group currently runs a series of Pizza Hut and KFC franchises in India. 

“From 2012-3 onwards, you are going to see enormous profits,” Kilachand said. “I don’t bother about the top line at all – my concern is value, value of the group businesses, and the surplus bottom line cash. We think we should be – without the mining – in the region of bottom-line cash about $100-120m in cash.”

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