Mubadala's business management services unit considering IPO and acquisitions

Mubadala Business Management Services, which has rebranded to Solutions+, aims to become a billion-dollar entity, CEO says

Nasir Al Nabhani, chief executive of Mubadala Business Management Services. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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A unit of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund is considering acquisitions and an initial public offering as part of its growth strategy for the future.

Mubadala Business Management Services, wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, rebranded as Solutions+ on Friday, and is considering acquisitions both in the UAE and overseas to boost its portfolio, chief executive Nasir Al Nabhani told The National in an interview.

The IPO plans are “in there as a strategy”, he said.

“We don't know when, but it's part of the five-year growth strategy that we have implemented in 2023. In the right time, an IPO is something that we would like to do,” Mr Al Nabhani said.

“We will evaluate opportunities in the [local] market and globally. If there are any suitable acquisitions that will fit in our model, then why not?”

The company's IPO considerations come amid a flurry of listings in the UAE and the overall Gulf region.

Middle East IPOsraised more than $23 billion in 2022, compared with $7.52 billion from 20 offerings the previous year.

Acquisitions, along with mergers, are also being tapped into by companies to broaden their customer base and seek opportunities in markets where there is growth potential.

“We might buy stakes … we are looking at the growth opportunities globally and locally,” Mr Al Nabhani said.

Solutions+ does not disclose its financials, but the company grew by about 20 per cent in 2022, “going beyond its targets”, he said.

The goal for 2023 is to top last year's growth numbers “by a little bit more”, Mr Al Nabhani added, saying that Solutions+ aims to become a billion-dollar company “within a few years”.

The company's strategy includes growing the number of its clients and expanding into other sectors. At present, it has more than 40 customers across key industries.

The bulk of its clients come from the companies under its parent Mubadala, accounting for three quarters of the business.

For Mubadala companies alone, Solutions+ processes more than 14,000 transactions a month, which is equivalent to more than Dh530 billion ($144.31 billion) worth of transactions in a year, Mr Al Nabhani said.

To support the strategy, Solutions+ is working on a fully digital platform that would integrate its services and allow its clients to “just plug and play”, he said.

The release of the system is being planned for the end of 2023. It is expected to top the 75 per cent reduction in processing time its clients already experience in its digital payment system, said Mr Al Nabhani.

“We plan to offer more services in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. And we believe there is tangible growth in front of us,” he said.

Solutions+ also intends to boost business process outsourcing (BPO), one of its main areas, as it sees demand continuing to grow, especially as companies increasingly become digital in an attempt to streamline business operations.

BPO is the delegation of business processes, particularly those that are IT-intensive, to an external service provider that, in turn, is in charge of managing them.

In the UAE alone, the company is seeing a Dh25 billion BPO opportunity, Mr Al Nabhani said.

The benefits of BPO — which covers services such as payroll, human resources and marketing — include streamlining of operations and cost savings.

We create efficiency by applying the right technology ... so we believe there is a huge opportunity for this organisation to grow in the UAE and globally
Nasir Al Nabhani, chief executive of Solutions+

Solutions+'s BPO services have saved clients more than Dh300 million annually, Mr Al Nabhani said.

The BPO sector in the UAE is projected to hit more than $7.36 billion by 2029, from an estimated $4.1 billion in 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 per cent, according to Data Bridge Market Research.

Globally, it is expected to become a $525.2 billion market by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 9.4 per cent, data from Grand View Research show.

“We create efficiency by applying the right technology … so we believe there is a huge opportunity for this organisation to grow in the UAE and globally,” Mr Al Nabhani said.

Mubadala Business Management Services was formed in 2014, and its portfolio spans the energy, healthcare, technology, aerospace, utilities, real estate, finance and industrial manufacturing sectors, as well as government entities, non-government organisations and education providers.

Updated: March 17, 2023, 8:16 AM