UAE's first Spac begins trading on ADX

ADC will look to acquire businesses in the UAE or the broader Mena region

The ADX and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development developed the UAE's first Spac regulatory framework. Photo: ADX
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ADC Acquisition Corporation, the UAE’s first special purpose acquisition company (Spac) that seeks to acquire fast-growing technology companies, began trading on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on Friday.

The Spac, which was set up by Abu Dhabi-based holding company ADQ and private investment firm Chimera Investments, raised Dh367 million ($99.9m) through an initial public offering of 36.7 million shares at an offer price of Dh10 a share.

ADC shares were trading at Dh10.80 at 1.30pm on Friday.

“The UAE’s first Spac represents a major endorsement of Abu Dhabi as a financial centre anchored with strong market principles and capital raising potential,” said Mohamed Al Suwaidi, ADQ managing director and chief executive and ADC chairman.

Along with supporting Abu Dhabi’s capital markets, private companies will also have the ability to capitalise to pursue further transactions easily and efficiently, he said.

“Ultimately, we aim to enhance the business environment in Abu Dhabi and contribute to establishing the UAE’s capital as a leading hub for private companies seeking to go public,” Mr Al Suwaidi said.

Spacs, or blank-cheque companies, are entities with no commercial operations that trade without business fundamentals.

They are formed with the intention of raising funds, through an IPO, to acquire existing companies.

Spac-led IPOs have lighter disclosure requirements than regular ones and have increasingly been used over the past two years to take fast-growing companies public quickly.

The recent listing comes after the ADX and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development developed the UAE's first Spac regulatory framework, which received approval from the Securities and Commodities Authority in January.

Created with attractive incentives and an innovative share structure, the regulations provide sponsors with an “efficient process” to take companies public, the ADX said at the time.

The ADC aims to focus on businesses that have operations or are based in the UAE or the Middle East and North Africa. The Spac will also look for scalable businesses with revenue streams that are underpinned by growth drivers, the company said.

“Through ADC, we will be able to channel liquidity to regional businesses, provide swift and cheaper access to capital markets and offer investors the ability to tap into this new and highly dynamic space in the UAE, while enjoying greater transparency and world-class operational and market expertise,” said Syed Shueb, chairman of Chimera Investment and vice chairman of the ADC.

Updated: May 27, 2022, 9:31 AM