Abraaj eyes Egypt health unit IPO

Likely to sell shares in 2013; no decision yet on bourse

Abraaj Capital, the Middle East's largest private equity firm, is considering selling shares in its Egyptian medical laboratories business in 2013, its chief executive said on Monday.

The Dubai-based firm's portfolio company, Al Borg Laboratories, entered into a merger agreement with Al Mokhtabar Laboratories in August to create Integrated Diagnostics Holding, the biggest medical laboratories business in the region.

Before that deal, Abraaj owned about 99 per cent of Al Borg.

Abraaj expects to sell part of its 50-per cent stake in Integrated Holding in the IPO and the remaining stake to a strategic investor, Chief Executive Mustafa Abdul-Wadood told Reuters in an interview.

"An IPO (of Integrated Diagnostics Holding) seems to be the most natural exit route for us. The company has been self-funded for some time and the IPO will guarantee funding for its future growth," Abdul-Wadood added.

"We keep our options open for the listing. There has to be an international aspect to that. I can think of London as one option," he said.

Abraaj struck a deal to buy emerging market fund manager Aureos Capital in February, creating an entity with approximately $7.5 billion in assets under management.

Dubai-based Abraaj has been pushing to expand its geographical footprint in emerging markets. It owns stakes in Egypt's Orascom Construction, budget carrier Air Arabia and supermarket chain Spinneys.

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