International Holding Company (IHC), the Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate, has acquired a 54 per cent stake in information and communications technology provider Emircom for Dh250 million ($68m).
The acquisition, made through its subsidiary IHC Digital, is part of the group's strategy to grow its digital assets portfolio and expand into new growth areas, IHC said in a statement on Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
Established in Abu Dhabi in 1984, Emircom offers end-to-end digital solutions to service providers, governments, educational institutes, finance houses and healthcare organisations across the Middle East.
It also has partnerships with tech companies such as Cisco, Oracle, Dell, Palo Alto, Fortinet, F5, Software AG, Microsoft, SAS, Huawei, Schneider and HP.
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and the completion of legal formalities, IHC said.
“We shall continue to seek further acquisitions in different industries, including the ICT area, building on our well-established track record of acquiring high-value and profitable investments that benefit our shareholders in the short- and long-term," said Syed Shueb, IHC’s chief executive.
"This acquisition of a majority stake in Emircom will help IHC Digital to continue deepening its profitability and depth in the sector.“
Majority-owned by Abu Dhabi's PAL group of companies, IHC was founded in 1998 as part of efforts to diversify and develop the UAE's non-oil business sector.
The company is rapidly expanding its portfolio through local and global acquisitions as well as investments, and currently comprises more than 30 entities with 52,345 employees.
IHC is included in the FTSE ADX 15 Index, which represents the top 15 largest and most liquid companies on the ADX.
It is diversifying its holdings across sectors, including real estate, agriculture, health care, food and beverage, utilities, industries, IT and communications, retail and leisure, and capital.
The move came before Burjeel's announcement this week to sell 11 per cent in the company in an initial public offering on the ADX this year.
Last month, IHC also acquired a 50 per cent stake in Turkish renewable energy company Kalyon Enerji for Dh1.8 billion to expand its clean energy portfolio.
As part of the transaction, the Abu Dhabi company is investing in three green-focused companies of the Adani Group — Adani Green Energy, Adani Transmission and Adani Enterprises, it said in May.
IHC's latest acquisition will support Emircom, which currently has about 1,000 employees, to further grow operations, said Hussain Al Nowais, chairman of Al Nowais Investments and Emircom’s shareholder.
“This acquisition brings a new dimension to Emircom, as well as adding further scale to our business growth plans in the Middle East market," he said.