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Saudi Arabia’s leading pharmacy chain Nahdi to join spate of IPOs

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Nahdi Medical Co, Saudi Arabia’s market leader in retail pharmacy, on Sunday announced its intention to list on the local bourse by selling 30 percent of its shares, joining a spate of new initial public offerings in the Kingdom.

Nahdi has 1,151 pharmacies, catering to the needs of more than 100 million customers, as well polyclinics and express clinics, it said.

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It posted a revenue at 8.6 billion riyals ($2.3 billion) in 2020, reflecting a three-year compound annual growth rate of 8.4 percent, higher than the industry retailers’ average of 7.9 percent, Nahdi said.

Nahdi’s existing shareholders are Al Nahdi Holding Company and SEDCO Holding, which would sell part of their holdings in the share sale but remain long-term shareholders.

Nahdi expanded its presence in the United Arab Emirates last year to five stores and also started deploying its online and omni-channel capabilities in the UAE, Yasser Joharji, Nahdi CEO told a news conference.

“We have big plans to expand in the UAE market and eventually beyond UAE market,” he said.

The price in the offering will be determined at the end of a book-building period, Joharji said is expected to start in March.

Nahdi has appointed HSBC Saudi Arabia and SNB Capital as joint financial advisers, bookrunners and underwriters.

Saudi Arabia has witnessed a surge of IPOs since it listed oil giant Saudi Aramco in a record $29.4 billion listing in 2019.

The country’s bourse operator Tadawul, which also listed last year, said in December it had 50 applications from companies for IPOs this year and is considering whether to allow blank-cheque companies, known as SPACs, to list.

Read more: Saudi consumers expected to spend more on online shopping in 2022

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