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Al Noor Hospitals Raises $342 Million in London IPO

Al Noor Hospitals Group Plc raised 221 million pounds ($342 million) in the United Arab Emirates’ first initial public offering this year as the Abu Dhabi-based provider of health-care services seeks funds to expand.

Al Noor sold 38.5 million new and existing shares, or 32.9 percent of its equity, at 575 pence each, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The sale, which led to a London Stock Exchange listing, was managed by Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc and raised 97 million pounds in new money for Al Noor, it said. The shares, which started conditional trading today, gained 0.4 percent to 577 pence at 11:04 a.m. in London.

The money will help the group expand in Abu Dhabi and fund its “entry into other key emirates and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council,” Kassem Alom, Al Noor’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. Plans “include the development of existing hospitals, growing our network of outpatient medical centres and pursuing organic and acquisition growth.”

Shares of Abu Dhabi-based NMC Health Plc, which raised 117 million pounds in 2012 in an IPO on the LSE, have surged 51 percent in 2013, outpacing a 38 percent advance for Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index. Al Noor has the biggest market share among private health-care services providers in Abu Dhabi for both outpatients and inpatients, according to the company. Profit last year climbed 19 percent to $60.5 million.

Potential Acquisitions

The U.A.E.’s stock markets are soaring this year amid an economic recovery after the global credit crisis curbed the demand for riskier assets. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index is the fourth-best performing gauge among 94 tracked by Bloomberg globally, while Dubai’s DFM General Index is the third.

Al Noor has identified a specialty center and a group of medical facilities for potential acquisitions valued at about $50 million, it said in a statement last month. The group will use cash in hand and $75 million of IPO proceeds to repay a loan of about $118.1 million, it said at the time.

Dubai-based private equity company Ithmar Capital will retain a 28 percent stake in Al Noor after selling some shares in the offering, today’s statement said. Ithmar bought a stake in Al Noor in June 2010 as part of a plan to invest 1 billion dirhams ($272 million) in the health-care industry.

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