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17 April 2024

Al Qudra shelves $1bn IPO

By Mohamad Al Kady




Al Qudra Holding is postponing its $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) initial public offering ahead of a new companies law that will reduce the amount of control that UAE family businesses must cede when going public.

Al Qudra Chairman Salah Al Shamsi had told shareholders at a meeting in Abu Dhabi last month it was planning to offer 55 per cent of its shares to the public. It would have been the UAE’s second largest initial public offering after the DP World issue last year.

But Al Qudra said in a statement yesterday that following “the recent discussions around the revised companies’ law that allows UAE institutions to offer less than 55 per cent through an initial public offering, Al Qudra’s board of directors has elected to capitalise on this opportunity and postpone the offering to a later date during 2008”.

The company has interests in a variety of sectors from real estate to healthcare and utilities. On Saturday, the company also appointed Mahmood Ibrahim Al Mahmood as its new chief executive officer.

Emirates Business contacted Al Qudra and the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority for comment, but both declined.

However, analysts said the expected second revision of the companies’ law later this year would focus on the flotation ratio.

“The first revision last year did not satisfy the majority of private companies’ owners. Al Qudra has 500 founders and they want to keep more than 45 per cent in their hands,” said one analyst who asked not to be named.

The authorities in the UAE are discussing several alternatives, an expert said.

“They are studying… the Saudi model that allows founders to keep up to 70 per cent of their companies. They are also considering… an individual client-tailored model,” he said. (With contributions from Matt Smith)