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UAE’s Multiply plans IPO after $61m ad agency deal

Multiply Group IPO Media 247 Media 247
Media 247, in which Multiply Group has acquired a 55% stake, provides advertising wraps for Dubai's red-top and airport taxis
  • 55% stake in Media 247 acquired
  • Part of Multiply ‘buy and build’ strategy
  • Outdoor ad market worth $980m

Abu Dhabi investment holding company Multiply Group is planning an IPO for its media and communications business Multiply Media after buying a stake in Dubai outdoor advertising agency Media 247.

The plan was announced after Multiply completed a deal to buy a 55 percent majority stake in Media 247 for AED225 million ($61.3 million).

Media 247 is known for its portfolio of 50 outdoor premium hoardings, unipoles and 3D structures across Dubai, including Sheikh Zayed Road, City Walk and Mohammed bin Zayed Road. 

It also advertises on vehicles across Dubai’s largest taxi fleet and airport taxis.

New figures from consultancy Warc Media show that the outdoor advertising market in the Middle East is forecast to be worth $980 million this year, up from $882 million in 2022.

The global media and communications industry is valued at $2 trillion.

Multiply Group said in a statement that the price of the acquisition – first mooted in April – was adjusted up from $50 million as a result of Media 247’s strong financial performance during the first half of 2023.

It beat its revenue and profitability targets by about 10 percent and 37 percent respectively. 

The statement said the acquisition of Media 247 aligns with its ‘buy and build’ strategy, which focuses on acquiring profitable companies and enhancing scalability and margins. 

Group CEO Samia Bouazza said: “The global media and communications industry is undergoing a seismic shift due to rapid digital transformation, immediate content dissemination and heightened user engagement, presenting unprecedented growth avenues.”  

Multiply Group has dual investment arms: one invests in mobility, energy and utilities, media and communications and beauty and wellness, and the other looks to target double-digit returns across asset classes.

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