Saudi Arabia’s BinDawood pushes ahead with first Middle East IPO since coronavirus

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Saudi Arabia’s BinDawood Holding is pushing ahead with the initial public offering of its supermarket business, in what would be the first Middle Eastern share sale since the coronavirus pandemic prompted governments to shut down economies.

The company, which operates 73 stores across the BinDawood and Danube supermarket chains, plans to kick off the deal in Riyadh by the end of July to take advantage of a rise in demand for its online delivery business due to the shut downs, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

No final decisions have been made and timing of the deal could change, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. A representative for BinDawood declined to comment.

The offering would follow a February offering by hospital operator Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group Co., which raised 2.63 billion riyals ($701 million). That deal that was 83 times oversubscribed.

Goldman, JPM

BinDawood started working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and GIB Capital on the IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said in October. Moelis & Co. was working as financial adviser, the people said at the time.

The company now plans to tap mainly local investors for the share sale through a so-called Regulation S offering, following other recent IPOs in the kingdom such as Saudi Aramco and Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services.

Global IPO activity is slowly picking up as major economies start to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus. Fund-raising is also returning to pre-pandemic levels, with companies including Warner Music Group Corp. raising $1.9 billion and NetEase Inc. $2.7 billion.

The BinDawood deal would allow Investcorp Bank BSC to exit its minority stake in the retailer, marking the buyout firm’s third exit from Saudi Arabia via an IPO in five years. Online sales across both BinDawood and Danube brands rose 200 percent, managing director of Danube online, Majed Al-Tahan, told Arab News in March.

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