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Oman’s OQ plans to raise up to $244m from oil drilling unit IPO
OQ is selling 49%, equivalent to 377,398,000 shares, of Abraj in a public share sale

Oman’s state energy company OQ plans to raise as much as $244 million from an initial public offering (IPO) of its oil and gas drilling business Abraj Energy Services.

OQ is selling 49 percent, equivalent to 377,398,000 shares, of Abraj in a public share sale, Abraj said in an emailed statement.

The IPO price band has been set at between 242 baizas and 249 baizas a share, it added, implying a market capitalisation of around $484 million and $498 million.

The offering is set to open on February 20 till March 2 for institutional investors, while retail investors can subscribe until March 1. Shares are expected to commence trading on or around March 14, according to the statement.

Abraj has brought in Saudi Omani Investment Company – a wholly owned entity of Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund – along with Oman’s Royal Court Affairs and Schlumberger Oman, as anchor investors that would collectively subscribe to 40 percent of the offering.

Reuters reported in July 2021 that OQ was weighing an IPO of Abraj, which was part of a broader divestment plan by the state energy company.

Companies from the Middle East have raised some $21.9 billion through IPOs in the area last year. This was more than half the total for the wider EMEA region, which also includes Europe and Africa, according to Dealogic data.