Dubai's Emicool ready for IPO, chairman says
However, Khalid bin Kalban added, the company would hold off on listing until market conditions improve, with growth expected to be recorded through acquisitions
Emirates District Cooling (Emicool) is ready to float an initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market even as current market conditions remain less-than ideal for the move, company chairman Khalid bin Kalban is reported to have said.
The Dubai-based company plans to grow through acquisitions as well, Arabian Business reported.
Emicool is an equally owned joint venture between M'Sharie, the private equity arm of Dubai Investments and real estate developer Union Properties.
Remarking on the company's future plans, Kalban said: "We have grown organically till now, but if we want to grow fast we need acquire companies; and we are in the search for companies.
"A lot of companies came and told us why we don’t merge. We are saying ‘why we don’t acquire you even if we are a smaller entity’,” he told Arabian Business.
Kalban, who is also the chief executive officer of Dubai Investments, said Emicool has worked on all requirements that are needed to list on the stock market.
He continued: "In 2014, the market picked up and we jumped on it. We appointed a consultant to work on the IPO, who asked us to fix a couple of things from corporate governance point of view such as setting up of an audit committee and compensation/remuneration committee.
"It took us almost a year to complete the process, but then the market had moved the other way around."
Kalban said up to 13 IPOs have been put on hold this year.
"There is one listed [district cooling] company in the market and we cannot compare ourselves to that… it will be haphazard [for us].
"We have structured the debt… the company is performing well and profit is growing.
"Emicool sits with strong foundations and growth of Motor City and Dubai Investments Park (DIP) will add value," Kalban added.
In 2014, Emicool signed on a $245m (AED899.8m) 12-year facility with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) to refinance its existing debt and fund expansion plans.
This February, district cooling provider Empower's CEO, Ahmed Bin Shafar, said the company had halted its plan to go public.
He continued: "Empower is a company that must go public; we have studied this.
"We came up with the result that we will [launch an] IPO, but the market conditions are not encouraging.
"We are freezing the decision until we see the right time," Shafar added.