Dubai tech firm StarLink unveils listing plan
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Dubai tech firm StarLink unveils listing plan

Dubai tech firm StarLink unveils listing plan

StarLink provides cybersecurity and cloud services across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey

Dubai-based information technology company StarLink plans to go public early next year, in a sign the government’s goal of listing state firms is encouraging the private sector to follow suit.

Starlink is working with Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes and expects to finalise its listing on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse in the first quarter of next year, chief executive officer Nidal Othman said in an interview.

The company has an annual revenue of around $400m and $16m in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, which would give it a valuation of around $250m, he said.

“The government has been encouraging tech companies to go public and has been very helpful to facilitate our process,” Othman said.

Dubai’s focus is expanding beyond the public sector as it seeks to revive trading on its bourse and looks to catch up with rivals Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

Days after a pledge to stage initial public offerings of at least 10 state-linked entities, the government said it also wants to encourage private and family-owned businesses to list. The emirate already announced that it would sell shares in state utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and its road toll system known as Salik.

StarLink provides cybersecurity and cloud services across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. It has around 45 technology vendors serving 3,500 government and corporate clients.

Rare deal
The potential IPO would represent a rare listing on Nasdaq Dubai, and also mark the first time that an information technology firm has traded on the platform.

Nasdaq Dubai was set up in 2005 at a time when the city was staking out its role as a regional financial center. The exchange is majority owned by Dubai Financial Market, the emirate’s main stock market.

DP World, whose $5bn IPO in 2007 was the biggest in the Middle East at the time, was once Nasdaq Dubai’s flagship listed company. But the port operator delisted again last year.

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