Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Saudi Arabia to introduce SPAC listings

Ades Holding is expected to raise about $1.22bn from selling more than 338.72 million existing and new shares Reuters/Ahmed Yosri
Avalon Pharma's IPO subscription period will last three days, starting January 30 and ending February 1

Saudi Arabia plans to allow special-purpose acquisition companies, also known as SPACs, to list on the kingdom’s bourse, a top official told a conference this week.

These entities raise money through an initial public offering (IPO) and then use the proceeds to acquire other companies.

SPACs were seen as a simpler, quicker and more effective way for businesses to go public.

Yazeed Saleh Aldemaigi, deputy of strategy and international affairs at Saudi’s Capital Market Authority, said the regulator would allow SPACs so that companies can “reach the market easier”, Bloomberg reported.

SPACs had proved hugely popular, especially to acquire ascendant tech companies, but disappointing returns and rising interest rates have dulled their lustre for investors.

In the US, SPACs’ acquisitions totalled $59.9 billion in 2022, down from $368 billion a year earlier, according to law firm White & Case, while the number of deals fell by nearly half over the same period.

Last year Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) became the first Gulf bourse to introduce rules permitting the listing of SPACs.

ADQ, an Abu Dhabi government-owned holding company, and Chimera Investments, also based in the emirate, launched the UAE’s first SPAC in April 2022.

ADC Acquisition Corp raised AED 367 million ($99.93 million) in an initial public offering, listing on Abu Dhabi’s bourse last May. Its shares ended Thursday at AED 10.82, up about 8 percent on its IPO price. It has yet to make any acquisitions.

In July 2021 Swvl, which began in Egypt as a bus ride-hailing app, went public via a SPAC that valued the company at $1.5 billion.

The Dubai-based firm’s shares, listed on the Nasdaq, are down 99.5 percent, giving it a market capitalisation of $7.8 million.

Latest articles

The funding of Midas is among the 'biggest ever' Series A fund raise by a Turkish fintech

Turkish fintech Midas raises $45m for new products

Turkish fintech startup Midas has raised $45 million in equity funding to expand its services and launch new products. The new products include cryptocurrency trading, mutual funds and savings accounts. The funding is among the “biggest ever” Series A fund raise by a Turkish fintech and comes less than three years after Midas was launched.  […]

Plenary founder and director Paul Oppenheim, Plenary CEO David Lamming and Ahmed Ali AlShamsi, director of energy and utilities at ADQ

ADQ buys stake in Australian investment company

The UAE’s investment fund ADQ has acquired a 49 percent stake in Australian infrastructure investor Plenary Group as part of its expansion drive. The Abu Dhabi state-backed company will acquire all shares currently owned by Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which will continue to invest in a range of Plenary’s […]

Over 400 global food brands are taking part in the SaudiFood Manufacturing show in Riyadh this month

Saudi Arabia’s food factory count rises to 1,300

The total number of food factories operated by the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (Modon) has reached 1,300, across 36 cities. The increase signifies the growing capacity of the domestic food industry and its localisation efforts, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. Food industry companies have recorded a growth rate of more […]

Garden, Nature, Outdoors

UAE commits $50m to development fund

The UAE has committed $50 million to the second phase of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund 2.0 (LLF 2.0), a multi-donor initiative targeting sustainable economic development in the Islamic Development Bank’s (ISDB) 57 member countries. The funding will be deployed by LLF 2.0 to support critical projects in health and infectious diseases, agriculture, and social infrastructure in low […]