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 BR Shetty, sold 55.7 million new shares at 210 pence each – the bottom end of a 200-280 pence price range. A 15 percent 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 on 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.
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.
Investors from the United Kingdom, as well as Europe, the United States and the Middle East, participated in the NMC share sale, Shetty said in a statement. Capital raised would be used to fund expansion, he added.
NMC’s shares rose as much as seven per cent in conditional trading on Monday. Unconditional trading is due to begin on April 5.
Deutsche Bank was the sole sponsor, global co-ordinator and bookrunner for the IPO. Numis Securities Limited and Shuaa Capital acted as joint lead managers.