Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare is set to dual-list in the UAE and Saudi Arabia within the next three to five years, according to the company’s top executive.
In an interview with CNBC Arabia, Azad Moopen, founder, chairman and managing director, explained that this move serves as an exit for investors holding a 65 percent stake in the public-based premium healthcare provider.
While the Moopen family plans to retain its stake, a small portion will be offered for sale, the founder emphasized.
This strategic decision aligns with the company’s commitment to expanding its footprint in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, with aspirations for growth in Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.
Addressing the hospital operator’s entrance into the Saudi market, Moopen highlighted the existing gap between supply and demand, noting that the group aims to fill this void, particularly in the field of pharmacies.
In line with this expansion, Aster DM Healthcare aims to open around 250 pharmacies over the next three to five years, he added.
Moopen went on to continue that the group will also be looking into adding as well as opening clinics and hospitals in areas across the Kingdom.
To achieve this, the firm is looking to borrow $100 million during the current year in an attempt to spread in Saudi Arabia and other countries as well.
According to Moopen, the total financing portfolio of the entity ranges between 15 or 20 percent of the company’s total value.
Moreover, during the interview, the founder also shed light on an agreement to sell a majority share of 65 percent of the group’s business in the Gulf to a consortium led by Fajr Capital.
He projected that the deal will be closed in the coming weeks, and according to its terms, the Moopen family will own the remaining 35 percent share.
Consequently, Moopen expects that the group of new investors would help with future growth in the GCC countries and enable the group’s expansion and growth plans, especially in Saudi Arabia, in addition to providing the necessary financial resources.
Established in 1987, Aster DM Healthcare ranks first place for clinics in Dubai, first or second in hospitals, and second place in pharmacies.
In recent years, firms have been eyeing dual-listings in the region.
In October 2022, non-Saudi companies were expected to be able to obtain approval for dual listing on the Saudi market, according to Tadawul’s CEO at the time.
Companies need finance to expand in particular industries, Mohammed Al-Rumaih told Argaam at the time, noting that the capital market aims to be the first partner to provide finance for expansions.
He added at the time that Tadawul worked on the market maker system, aiming at enhancing market efficiency and effectiveness through boosting liquidity, along with financial institutions and the Capital Market regulator.
In April 2022, Kuwait-based Aleid Foods announced that it was looking to strengthen its position in the Gulf with a potential dual listing and planning to expand across five regional cities.