The UAE’s deal-hungry IHC plans IPOs in healthcare and IT businesses

  • Pure Health’s IPO raised over $1 billion, according to CEO
  • Targets Q3 tech entity IPO with assets of $1 billion
  • Considering International Energy Holding’s IPO next year
  • Plans purchases this year and next and is looking for a sizeable loan

ABU DHABI, Nov 24 (Reuters) – International Holding Company (IHC.AD) plans to sell 20% of its technology unit in an IPO next year, its CEO has told Reuters, adding that the UAE’s IHC is a Pure Health’s first-quarter IPO is expected to raise more than $1 billion.

IHC, which has risen from relative obscurity to become the UAE’s largest publicly traded company, valued at more than $200 billion, is on a path of consolidation and acquisitions.

This has resulted in two IHC subsidiaries completing the top three companies on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

Asked about the plans for International Technology Holding (ITH), Chief Executive Syed Basar Shueb said IHC is likely to list 20% of it in the third quarter and is in talks with local companies about possible acquisitions by the group emerged from IHC’s holdings in the IT sector.

ITH was expected to post half a billion dirhams (US$136 million) in revenue by the second quarter and have over US$1 billion in assets, Shueb said.

IHC is part of a business empire overseen by its chairman, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is also the UAE’s national security adviser and was a foreign policy troubleshooter for his brother, President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

The company, whose market value is greater than that of companies such as Shell, Disney and Nike, has been instrumental in increasing ADX’s scale amid increasing competition from Saudi Arabia.

IHC, its subsidiary Alpha Dhabi, ADX’s second largest company, and other IHC-related companies have played leading roles in a number of IPOs in Abu Dhabi as lead investors.

Pure Health, under Alpha Dhabi, is targeting to raise more than $1 billion in a first-quarter IPO delayed to this year.

“It’s going to be over $1 billion, but the size depends on how much we bring to market. I don’t think we can exceed 10% otherwise we will take all the liquidity out of the market and it will affect the other players,” Shueb said.

Pure Health has played an important role in screening the UAE for COVID-19. The merger with state-owned Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA), which Shueb says has nearly 24,000 employees, is taking longer than expected and delaying the IPO.

IHC, which has completed four IPOs this year and is planning a similar number in 2023, has yet to appoint banks for Pure Health’s IPO, Shueb said, adding that it was considering a possible IPO of International Energy Holding in 2023.


IHC, with interests ranging from real estate to agriculture, said the total value of its acquisition exceeded 13.5 billion dirhams in the UAE in the third quarter, and it plans to acquire 70% more globally next year.

Shueb said it was in talks with international banks for long-term funding of planned purchases in 2023, adding that this would represent a sizeable chunk of IHC’s liquidity.

Some IHC companies may eventually issue their own bonds, Shueb said, without giving further details.

“We also need to incur debt on our balance sheet so that we can continue to invest.”

IHC is reviewing two potential investments in India, each worth more than $2 billion, Shueb said after investing $2 billion in Adani Group companies in April.

It may announce up to two international acquisitions and buy a UAE-listed hospitality company before the end of 2022.

“We look at Colombia and Asia – especially Indonesia and India – these are the two main markets in which we operate.”

This month, IHC’s bid to buy a stake in Colombian food maker Nutresa fell through after failing to secure the desired stake size. Shueb said IHC will continue to look for opportunities in other Latin American countries.

($1 = 3.6729 UAE Dirham)

Reporting by Yousef Saba and Rachna Uppal; Adaptation by Alexander Smith

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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