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QFIB to exit healthcare firm via IPO

Doha, February 8, 2011

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) will exit its investment in Abu Dhabi-based Al Noor Medical Co. through an initial public offering in May, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

QFIB, a sharia-compliant investment bank, and Dubai-based private equity firm Ithmar Capital made an equity investment in Al Noor, a private healthcare services provider in June last year. It did not provide a value for the investment at that time.

"It (Al Noor investment) is well on the way to IPO. We think in the latter half of May," Emad Mansour, QFIB's chief executive, told Reuters on the sidelines of a Meed conference.   

QFIB has a 14 percent stake in Al Noor through a consortium which holds 50 percent, Mansour said. The listing will be on the Abu Dhabi bourse.

"We are at least six weeks away from negotiations with the regulator," he said.

Mansour said the consortium named HSBC and JP
Morgan to assist in the IPO process.

Abu Dhabi, the largest and wealthiest of the seven emirates which make up the UAE, is leading the way in relieving the country's IPO drought, with at least three ready to launch in the first half.

QFIB closed three deals in 2010, Mansour said, including an investments in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates and an exit in the real estate sector. He did not elaborate on the details of the deal.

Mansour said the firm has around $250 million to deploy for deals in 2011. "Since we are exiting sooner than anticipated, we have $250 million to deploy for private deals in 2011," he said.

QFIB had originally planned to exit the Al Noor investment in 2012, he said.   

Middle East private equity investment plunged by 80 percent to $561 million in 2009, Gulf Venture Capital Association data showed, and deal activity was thin in 2010 too, however a slow recovery is expected in 2011. - Reuters




Tags: IPO | QFIB | Al Noor Medical |

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