UAE hospital group looks to London for IPO

UAE HEALTHCARE provider Al Noor Hospitals Group is aiming to raise up to $150m (£100m) through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the London Stock Exchange to finance planned acquisitions.

The Abu Dhabi-based group, the largest private healthcare provider in the oil-rich emirate, is looking at several acquisition opportunities within the UAE, including a $50m speciality treatment centre, said Sami Alom, chief strategy officer, declining to provide further details.

Al Noor is the second UAE healthcare company to launch an IPO and list on the LSE. In 2012, NMC Healthcare raised £117m, joining a growing list of Gulf companies seeking overseas listings in preference to moribund regional equity markets.

“Demand for healthcare is set to grow rapidly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) [and] the IPO is to pursue expansion and ... growth opportunities,” Alom said on a conference call with reporters.

The company plans to issue new and existing shares to secure a free float of readily tradeable shares of 30 to 45 per cent of the total. It gave no further detail on the pricing and number of shares to be sold.

Al Noor chose to list in London to gain access to international investors, Alom said, adding bookbuilding for the IPO and listing would be in the latter half of next month.

Al Noor is owned by Ithmar Capital and its affiliates with 50 per cent, and its two founders, Sheikh Mohammed bin Butti Al Hamed and chief executive, Dr Kassem Alom with 35 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

The group operates three hospitals and nine medical centres and has the largest market share among private healthcare providers for both outpatients and inpatients, according to the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi’s latest report.

Al Noor achieved revenue of $324.4m in 2012, netting a profit of $60.5m.

Abu Dhabi, wealthiest of the seven emirates which make up the UAE federation, is investing billions of dollars in industry, tourism, healthcare and infrastructure to diversify its economy away from oil.

ADVISERS AL NOOR’S LONDON FLOTATION

RICHARD CORMACK
GOLDMAN SACHS

DEUTSCHE Bank and Goldman Sachs have been mandated as joint sponsors and global coordinators on Al Noor Hospitals Group’s planned London listing, with HSBC Holdings acting as joint bookrunner for the IPO.

Rothschild is acting as financial adviser to the company.

The Goldman team is led by Richard Cormack, who was made a partner in January this year and has previously advised the Russian government on its sale of stake in state-owned Sberbank. He was joined by Jennie Holloway.

Christopher Laing, head of equity capital markets, led the Deutsche Bank team. He also advised NMC Capital – the first UAE healthcare company to join the London market – raise £117m last year, and is joined on the deal by Nicholas Skaff.

HSBC’s equity capital markets director Stuart Dickson, who earlier this year advised Crest Nicholson on its IPO, worked alongside Nick Uzel .

Rothschild’s head of equity advisory Adam Young was the financial adviser, while Brunswick provided PR advice.