UAE healthcare provider NMC Health raised 117 million pounds ($186.9 million) from its London initial public offering (IPO), joining a growing list of Gulf firms seeking overseas listings to counter moribund regional equity markets.
NMC, founded by billionaire Indian entrepreneur B.R. Shetty, sold 55.7 million new shares at 210 pence each -the bottom end of a 200-280 pence price range. A 15 per cent greenshoe, or overallotment option, made up of existing shares could be exercised at a later date, NMC said on Monday.
The listing, only the second flotation London’s main market this year after Russian oil producer RusPetro in January, signals a slight recovery in European equity markets after a hiatus caused by fears over the euro zone sovereign debt crisis.
Abu Dhabi-based NMC, one of the largest private sector healthcare providers in the United Arab Emirates, operates general and specialised hospitals, pharmacies and medical centres.
Others tipped to launch IPOs in the coming months include German chemicals maker Evonik and insurance group Talanx and Italian aero-engine parts maker Avio, while a part sell-down of the Russian government’s stake in Sberbank could also be launched in mid-April.
NMC is the first Abu Dhabi company to list on London’s main market. The Gulf Arab region’s IPO market has suffered following the global financial crisis with investor appetite for regional offerings severely dampened, forcing some firms to look at London as an alternate destination.
Last year, Dubai-based ports operator DP World opted for a dual listing on the London bourse to seek better liquidity and exposure to overseas investors.