Saudi Arabia’s market regulator approves Acwa Power IPO

Company plans to sell 11.1% of its share capital, through the listing

A Saudi Acwa Power-generating windmill is pictured in Jbel Sendouq, on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco, June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal
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Saudi Arabia's Capital Markets Authority (CMA) approved on Wednesday a request for an initial public offering from International Company for Water and Power Projects, also known as Acwa Power.

Acwa plans to sell 81.1 million shares, representing 11.1 per cent of its share capital, through the listing. The approval is valid for six months from June 29 and will be cancelled if the offering and listing of the shares are not completed within this period, the regulator said.

Acwa operates in 13 countries across the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia. It has a portfolio of 64 assets with a total investment of $66 billion, producing 42 gigawatts of power and 6.4 million cubic metres per day of desalinated water.

The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, is the biggest shareholder in the company with a 50 per cent stake. Acwa has eight other stakeholders, including the Saudi Public Pension Agency and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation.

Acwa Power, which delayed IPO plans in 2018, leads a consortium that will build and operate renewable power-based utilities at Saudi Arabia's flagship Red Sea tourism project.

Last month, Acwa Power successfully raised 2.8 billion Saudi riyals ($746 million) through the issuance of a 7-year sukuk, or Islamic bond, as the company continues to diversify its sources of funding to support its growth. Earlier in the year, the company secured financing for a $1bn power project it is developing in Uzbekistan as part of its strategy to boost its renewable energy portfolio in the Central Asian republic.

The Middle East and North had three company listings in the first three months of the year that raised $295m, compared with four companies raising $814m in the same quarter last year, consultancy EY said last month.

In Saudi Arabia, Alkhorayef Water & Power Technologies raised $144m and Theeb Rent a Car raised $138m – both sold 30 per cent of their shares on the Tadawul stock market. Oman Reit, a real estate investment trust, raised $13.2m on the Muscat Stock Exchange.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia's CMA also approved an IPO application of Arabian Internet and Communications Services company, or STC Solutions.

Updated: July 01, 2021, 6:35 AM