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School operator Taaleem up next in string of Dubai IPOs

Taaleem Supplied
Taaleem has 27 school across the UAE and 27,000 students

UAE schools operator Taaleem Holdings is the latest in Dubai’s string of initial public offerings (IPOs) as the emirate continues to open up key state-owned assets for investment.

Dubai’s privatisation drive this year to raise revenue and boost investor interest includes the listing of 18 percent of utility company Dewa on the Dubai Financial Market.

It has also listed government-owned toll gate operator Salik and in June it also sold a minority stake in port operator DP World and listed 12.5 percent of business park operator Tecom for $463 million.

Taaleem, which has 27 schools across the UAE and 27,000 students, said on Friday it has set the price of its IPO at 3 dirhams ($0.8168) a share, the top end of a range announced last week.

It plans to raise 750 million dirhams from the IPO, which will sell 250 million shares of the company, or 25 percent of its total issued share capital.

Total gross demand for the offering was more than 13.7 billion dirhams ($3.73 billion), or an aggregate oversubscription of 18 times.

Shares will begin trading on November 29 and Taaleem will have an expected market capitalisation of 3 billion dirhams at the time of listing.

Taaleem is one of the largest K-12 education providers in Dubai, founded in 2004 and backed by the state’s Investment Corporation of Dubai in 2007.

Billion-dollar privatisations have become increasingly common across Gulf Arab markets. 

The Saudi government’s selling spree started with the listing of a 1.7 percent stake in its national oil company Saudi Aramco in December 2019 and January 2020 for close to $30 billion. 

Abu Dhabi kickstarted its latest privatisation drive in September 2020 with a $1 billion placement of shares in the distribution business of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).