Taaleem IPO: Dubai school operator raises $204m in oversubscribed offering

Company will start trading on the Dubai Financial Market on November 29 with a market value of $817m

An rendering of one of Taaleem's new schools that will open in the next two years
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Dubai school operator Taaleem Holdings has raised Dh750 million ($204m) from its initial public offering and will be the largest and only dedicated education provider on the Dubai Financial Market when it starts trading later this month.

The company sold 254.2 million shares, or a 25.32 per cent stake, with the IPO drawing strong demand from UAE and international investors. It was more than 18 times oversubscribed, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Taaleem's IPO is the fifth in Dubai this year and shares of the company are expected to start trading on the Dubai Financial Market on November 29 under the symbol “TAALEEM”.

The company will have an expected market capitalisation at time of listing of about Dh3.0 billion ($817 million).

“I’m delighted our IPO saw such strong demand from both local and international investors,” said Alan Williamson, chief executive of Taaleem.

“This is a testament to the quality of our company and the hard work and dedication of all our teachers and employees … as the largest dedicated education provider on DFM, we have a compelling and differentiated growth-focused investment proposition with our IPO helping to further grow and diversify Dubai’s capital markets.”

Taaleem, formerly known as Beacon Education, was founded in Dubai in 2004. It currently operates 26 schools across the UAE offering British and American curriculums as well as the International Baccalaureate to more than 27,000 pupils.

Taaleem will use proceeds from the listing to fund plans for four new premium schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Taleem plans to pay a dividend of Dh67.5m relating to its financial performance during the year that ended on August 31, 2022. The dividend will be paid to shareholders before the closing date of the IPO.

The company intends to pay dividends “at least at the current levels” and to increase its dividends in line with future earnings growth.

EFG Hermes and Emirates NBD Capital have been appointed joint lead managers on the offering.

Taaleem's IPO is part of a wave of listings on UAE capital markets that have performed better than global stock markets, buoyed by increased liquidity from higher oil prices and strong investor demand.

Various government-owned companies have gone public in the UAE and private companies are now following suit.

Last week, Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), Dubai's district cooling provider, raised more than Dh2.6 billion through its offering, which was more than 47 times oversubscribed.

Dubai plans to bolster the size of its capital markets, with plans to list 10 state-owned companies and boost the size of the emirate's financial market to about Dh3 trillion.

The emirate is also aiming to set up a Dh2 billion market maker fund to encourage the listing of more private companies from sectors such as energy, logistics and retail.

The Mena region had 24 IPOs in the first half of this year. The UAE was the biggest IPO market in terms of the aggregate value of deals, while Saudi Arabia led volume with five IPO deals in the first six months of the year, according to EY data.

Middle East IPOs have raised $18 billion this year, the highest share for the Gulf region after 2019, when Saudi Aramco went public in a $29 billion offering, the world’s largest, according to Bloomberg data.

Updated: November 20, 2022, 8:48 AM