Unicorn plans third round of fund-raising - Emirates24|7

Unicorn plans third round of fund-raising

Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank yesterday said it will issue up to 60 million ordinary shares to existing shareholders and new institutional and strategic investors, representing up to 24.6 per cent of the ordinary share capital of the bank following private placement.

The new capital will be used to fund Unicorn's expansion into new markets and to support its organic growth strategy, a statement said. The bank has appointed HSBC to act as placement agent and joint financial adviser and Deutsche Bank as joint financial adviser.

This marks the third round of capital raising for Unicorn, which secured initial paid-up capital of $111 million (Dh407.68m) in 2004 and successfully increased its capital to $233m following a private placement in July 2006. It has been prompted by the bank's solid performance and rapid expansion, the statement said.

Unicorn's operating income rose 82 per cent from $66.9m in 2006 to $122m in 2007. Net profit grew 66 per cent to $50.1m. Return on equity increased to 17.6 per cent and earnings per share grew by 26 per cent.

The bank recently closed a $125m three-year syndicated commodity Murabaha facility arranged by Dubai Bank and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich. The facility, which was launched at $100m, was oversubscribed.

Majid Al Sayed Bader Al Refai, Unicorn's managing director and CEO, said: "The new capital will be used to support the bank's organic growth and international expansion and will help us to realise our vision of building an Islamic investment bank."