NMC Health of U.A.E. Seeks to Raise $250 Million in IPO for London Listing

NMC Health Plc is seeking to raise as much as $250 million from an initial public offering in the first share sale in the United Arab Emirates this year, signaling a return of IPOs as regional markets rebound.

The health-care provider, which plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, will offer shares to institutional and other investors in the U.K. and elsewhere, it said in a statement distributed via the Regulatory News Service today. Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) is bookrunner and global coordinator of the sale, while Numis Securities Ltd. and Shuaa Capital PSC (SHUAA) are the lead managers.

The IPO comes after a decline in share sales by U.A.E. companies amid tumbling stock markets and political upheaval in the Middle East. Topaz Energy & Marine Plc, a Dubai-based oil and gas services provider, last March pulled an IPO in London, citing “uncertain investment climate for new issues.” Axiom Ltd., a Dubai-based phone retailer, in December 2010 canceled plans to raise about $100 million because of “widespread concerns about market conditions and liquidity.”

“The recent stock market rally may make companies more hopeful in terms of the appetite of investors on U.A.E. exposure,” said Anas el Maizi, an Abu Dhabi-based fund manager at Royal Capital PJSC. “If NMC is successful, it may open the door for other IPOs.”

Markets Rebound

The benchmark Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) has gained 19 percent this year after a 17 percent decline in 2011, while the Abu Dhabi measure increased 6.6 percent after a 12 percent decline. Trading volumes have advanced in Dubai this year, with 835 million shares exchanging hands on March 5, the highest since December 2009 and compared with a 12-month daily average of 134 million shares. Volumes slumped to a six-year low in 2011.

National Takaful Co. (WATANIA), Insurance House (IH) and Eshraq Properties Co. (ESHRAQ) listed their shares on Abu Dhabi’s stock market in 2011, while none were listed in Dubai during the period.

NMC “intends to use the net proceeds of the offer and borrowings under a new credit facility of up to $150 million primarily to finance its expansion plans and to fund further future growth opportunities,” it said in the statement. The company had revenue of $443.7 million last year compared with $386.5 million a year earlier and $338.9 million in 2009.

Over-Allotment

An over-allotment option will be made available by some shareholders, NMC said. The current shareholders are Saeed Bin Butti with 43 percent, B.R. Shetty with 30 percent, Khalifa Bin Butti with 15 percent and Infinite Investment LLC 12 percent.

NMC’s network includes three specialty hospitals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al-Ain. The company plans to buy Healthcare Suites in Dubai, build a hospital at Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, and look at potential acquisitions in the Middle East and North Africa as part of its expansion, it said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shaji Mathew in Dubai at shajimathew@bloomberg.net; Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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