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Saudi’s MBC Group prices IPO at top of the range

MBC Group chairman Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim (right) at the signing of an MoU with the Saudi Film Commission. MBC's share price suggests a market capitalisation of $2.2bn Spa
MBC Group chairman Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim (right) at the signing of an MoU with the Saudi Film Commission
  • Huge interest in media giant
  • Shares oversubscribed 66 times
  • Content reaches 150m people

Strong investor demand has led Saudi media company MBC Group to price its initial public offering (IPO) at SAR25 per share, the top of a range published earlier this month. 

The price implies a market capitalisation of SAR8.3 billion ($2.2 billion) at listing, said IPO manager HSBC in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The offering will raise gross proceeds of about SAR831 million, it said, adding that “considerable support” from domestic and international investors resulted in an order book of SAR54.5 billion – 66 times the total offered shares.

The company is offering 33.25 million ordinary shares, representing 10 percent of its share capital.

Saudi nationals, foreign residents in the kingdom and GCC nationals will be able to subscribe for shares in the retail offering which begins on Thursday.

Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, said demand from investors reflected “the high trust they have placed in MBC Group’s ability to shape the future of media and entertainment.”

The net proceeds will be used to repay outstanding loans, boost working capital, expenditure on content development for the video streaming platform Shahid and investment in new initiatives.

Established over 30 years ago, MBC is one the largest media and entertainment companies in the Middle East and North Africa, with its content reaching more than 150 million people every week. 

Saudi Arabia’s capital market regulator confirmed that 46 IPO requests were still under study in the third quarter of 2023.

Five listing requests were for the main market and 41 requests were pending for the Nomu-Parallel Market, according to the Capital Market Authority’s latest quarterly statistical bulletin.

Listings on Mena stock markets slowed during the third quarter, but analysts remain upbeat for 2024 despite concerns over the Israel-Gaza conflict. 

There were six IPOs in the third quarter of 2023, raising $523 million in total. This was a 14 percent drop in volume and a 66 percent slump in proceeds compared to a year earlier.

There have been 29 IPOs so far this year, according to EY’s Mena IPO Eye Q3 report. Total proceeds stand at $5.8 billion, down 6 percent in volume and 61 percent in funds raised year on year. 

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