Dubai November 9 2022: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp.’s initial public offering in Dubai raised 2.66 billion dirhams ($724 million) after pricing its shares at the top of a marketed range, with investors putting in $34 billion in bids in a show of continued appetite for Middle Eastern share offerings.
Shareholders Dubai Electricity & Water Authority PJSC and Emirates Power Investment sold 2 billion shares -- a 20% stake -- at 1.33 dirhams each, according to terms of the deal seen by Bloomberg News on Wednesday. The IPO of Empower, as the district cooling firm is known, was doubled in size to a 20% stake from 10% because of strong investor demand.
The offering drew $34 billion in orders from local, regional, international and retail investors -- about 47 times the original shares on offer including the cornerstones, the terms showed.
Empower is Dubai’s fourth privatization as the financial hub seeks to ramp up trading volumes and liquidity after falling behind an IPO boom that began in neighboring Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia last year. The city’s three IPOs this year have raised about $7.6 billion combined, with the government increasing the size of two of these listings -- DEWA and Salik PJSC -- after drawing significant demand.
While shares of DEWA surged initially in their April trading debut, they have since fallen back to around their IPO price. The decline coincided with volatility in global financial markets over fears of an economic slowdown amid tighter monetary policy. Salik, which only started trading in late September, is still well above its IPO price.
The Middle East has stood out this year as a bright spot for IPOs, in contrast to most other major markets which have seen significant drops in activity on the back of high inflation and rising interest rates. The region is headed for its best year on record for IPO proceeds after 2019, when Saudi oil giant Aramco fetched $29 billion in its listing.
Empower’s shares are due to start trading on Nov. 15.
Citigroup Inc., Emirates NBD Capital, Merrill Lynch International and EFG-Hermes are managing the IPO. Moelis & Co. is the independent financial adviser to Empower.