UAE school operator Taaleem plans to raise $204m from Dubai bourse listing

Company's shares are expected to start trading on the DFM 'on or around' November 29

Dubai Schools is one of 27 academic institutions run by Taaleem across the UAE. Photo: Taaleem
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Dubai school operator Taaleem Holdings plans to raise Dh750 million ($204.2m) from its initial public offering on the Dubai Financial Market next month to fund its growth plans.

The company expects to list on the bourse “on or around” November 29 and will use the proceeds to expand its premium K-12 schools network, it said in its document announcing its intention to float (ITF) on Monday.

Starting from November 10, Taaleem will offer 10 per cent of its offering to retail investors, 88 per cent to professional investors and the remaining 2 per cent to eligible employees and parents, it said.

The subscription period will end on November 16 for UAE retail investors, eligible employees and eligible parents, and on November 17 for professional investors.

“The IPO provides an attractive investment opportunity for investors to participate in the next phase of the company’s growth through the expansion of its premium K-12 segment,” said chairman Khalid Altayer.

Despite a slowdown in global stock markets and subdued IPO activity, companies in the UAE have been lining up to tap into equity markets amid a listings boom.

The country’s economy has bounced back from the coronavirus-induced slowdown while investor sentiment has been buoyed by higher oil prices and government efforts to broaden capital markets.

Dubai announced plans in November last year to list 10 state-owned companies to increase the size of its financial market to about Dh3 trillion, as well as set up a Dh2bn market maker fund to encourage the listing of more private companies from sectors such as energy, logistics and retail.

Taaleem will use proceeds from the listing to fund plans for four new premium schools, two of them under the DBS brand, subject to regulatory approvals, it said in the document.

Three of the schools will be in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi.

Taaleem currently operates 26 schools across the UAE with a teaching staff of 1,730. Taleem schools offer British and American curriculums to more than 27,000 pupils.

In the first eight months of 2022, the company generated Dh623m in revenue, up from Dh526m in the same period last year. Its profit rose to Dh83m, from Dh78m in the first eight months of 2021.

Taleem plans to pay a dividend of Dh67.5m relating to its financial performance during the year ended August 31, 2022, it said. 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, it said.

However, Taleem said its ability to pay dividends would depend on several factors, including availability of distributable reserves, its capital expenditure plans and other cash requirements in future.

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

Emirates NBD Capital PSC and EFG-Hermes UAE Limited — acting in conjunction with Emirates NBD Capital Limited and EFG Hermes LLC, respectively — are joint global co-ordinators.

Emirates NBD Bank has been appointed as the lead receiving bank. Emirates Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank are also receiving banks.

Updated: October 31, 2022, 7:46 AM