Investcorp-backed Al Borg picks banks for Saudi Arabia IPO

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Al Borg Diagnostics has picked EFG-Hermes Holding Co. and GIB Capital to work on a planned initial public offering in Saudi Arabia, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private laboratory chain, backed by the Middle East’s biggest alternative asset manager Investcorp, could look to raise about $350 million in the share sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.

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The IPO could happen as soon as in the second half of the year, one of the people said.

Details of the offering such as the size and timing are still being discussed and are subject to change, the people added.

A spokesperson for Investcorp declined to comments. Representatives for Al Borg, EFG and GIB didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Al Borg would join a long list of companies seeking to go public in the Middle East’s most active IPO market. The region as a whole is enjoying a listings boom, helped by high oil prices and equity inflows.

Saudi Arabia’s exchange has already hosted 15 IPOs in 2022, surpassing the tally across all of 2021, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Investors have piled into the offerings, with digital security firm Elm Co. drawing $57 billion in orders from institutional funds earlier this year. Listings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have seen similarly feverish demand.

The strong showing in the Middle East stands in sharp contrast to the slowdown in listings seen in the rest of the world, as soaring inflation, rising interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roiled markets.

Al Borg was established in 1998 in Jeddah and expanded to become the largest chain of private laboratories in the Gulf Cooperation Council, according to its website.

Investcorp, founded in Bahrain, is now looking to boost its assets under management to $100 billion.

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