July 16, 2020 / 8:36 AM / 20 days ago

Saudi Arabia's Almana General Hospitals in early talks for IPO-sources

DUBAI/LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Almana General Hospitals (AGH) is in early talks with banks about an initial public offering on the kingdom's Tadawul exchange, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Almana, focused on the kingdom’s eastern province, is part-owned by Sanabil Investments, a commercial investment company owned by the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. Sanabil acquired a 20% stake in Almana in 2016.

Almana has asked advisors to carry out a valuation of the hospital in conjunction with the possible IPO transaction, said one of the sources, who declined to be named as the matter is not public.

The company was speaking to independent investment banks but still weighing whether to go ahead with a local offering or consider an international Regulation S offering, making it open to institutional investors outside the United States, a second source said. The company could go public in the fourth quarter, should they decide to proceed.

Almana and Sanabil did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Almana, established in 1949 by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdullah Almana, has the largest network of hospitals in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. It operates four hospitals with a total capacity of over 900 beds, according to its website.

Saudi Arabia is encouraging more family-owned companies to list in a bid to deepen its capital markets under a reform push aimed at cutting the kingdom’s reliance on oil.

The Saudi bourse has welcomed a slew of companies this year including healthcare firm Suleiman Al Habib and real estate financing firm Amlak International.

BinDawood Holding, which controls supermarket chains under its own name and Danube in the kingdom, has postponed its IPO to September, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh in Dubai and Clara Denina in London; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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