Saudi eyecare group Magrabi weighs IPO of hospitals unit Saudi eyecare group Magrabi weighs IPO of hospitals unit
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Saudi eyecare group Magrabi weighs IPO of hospitals unit

Saudi eyecare group Magrabi weighs IPO of hospitals unit

The firm opened a specialist hospital in the Middle East in 1955 and currently runs more than 150 stores across five countries in the region

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Magrabi Medical Group Holdings, one of the Middle East’s leading optical retailers and operator of eye clinics, is mulling an initial public offering of its hospitals business in Saudi Arabia as soon as next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The family-owned company has asked banks to pitch for a role on the IPO on the Saudi stock exchange, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Rothschild & Co. is advising Magrabi and a listing could raise about $200m, the people said.

A representative for Magrabi declined to comment.

The Middle East is in the midst of a standout year for IPOs, in contrast to most other regions, as local markets remain supported by high crude prices while governments’ plans to list state assets gain traction among investors. Investor appetite for local listings remains strong, even after Saudi stocks entered a bear market last month — the first in the Gulf region this year — as oil fell from earlier highs.

Magrabi had previously considered selling a minority stake in the business and hired HSBC Holdings to advise it, Bloomberg News reported in 2017.

The firm opened a specialist hospital in the Middle East in 1955 and currently runs more than 150 stores across five countries in the region, according to its website. It also operates more than 20 hospitals and clinics.

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