JEDDAH – The two initial public offerings (IPOs) launched in Saudi Arabia, that of Saudi Takween Advanced Industries and Tokio Marine Saudi Arabia at $62.38 million and $16 million, respectively, in the first quarter of 2012 were the largest in the Middle East and North Africa region, Ernst & Young’s "2012 Q1 MENA IPO" revealed.
Tunisia and Morocco issued one each. The Moroccan and Tunisian IPOs were Afric Industries SA ($3.11 million) and Hexabyte ($1.31 million) respectively. "Although the funds raised in the current quarter were still low by historical standards, provided we don’t see any major regional unrest, I think we are going to see an increase in funds raised in specific markets over the remainder of 2012," Phil Gandier, MENA Head of Transaction Advisory Services, Ernst & Young, said. Regional capital markets raised $82.8 million in the period, a jump of 3.8 times as compared to the $21.7 million raised in Q1 2011, but only 37 percent of the $226.1 million raised in the fourth quarter of last year. In total, four regional IPOs came to market in the first quarter this year, the same number as in Q4 of 2011.
"Even though we have seen an improvement in the performance of regional bourses, this has not yet translated into a consistent increase in regional IPO activity. The IPO markets have been very quiet since 2009 mainly due to lower than acceptable valuations than private and family businesses were willing to accept," Gandier said. "Even though the IPO numbers have remained more or less flat, we are seeing a growing interest from such businesses. The strategic rationale of institutionalizing these companies and protecting them from succession issues by embarking on the IPO journey is as relevant as ever. Improvements in the secondary markets have increased the prospects of better pricing for IPOs. This translates to a subsequent increase in the readiness to go public," he added.
Global IPO activity has fallen sharply in Q1 2012, according to Ernst & Young’s Global IPO update. So far this quarter, a total of 157 deals has raised only $14.3bn, down by 69 percent by capital raised ($46.6 billion in 296 deals), compared to the same period last year. This is the lowest quarter on record since Q2 2009 when there were 82 IPOs worth $10.4 billion.
Globally, Q1 2012 was the first time when just one deal raised above $1 billion since Q1 2009 when no IPOs exceeded $1 billion. Average deal size decreased to $91 million compared to $157 million in Q1’11, a 42 percent drop.
By funds raised, almost one in five IPOs was from the industrials sector ($2.7 billion in 29 deals), followed by consumer products and services ($2.2 billion in 16 deals). By deal numbers over one in five IPOs was from the technology sector ($2.1 billion in 35 deals - 22 percent).
"Technology IPOs remain very attractive to investors, who are actively looking for the right type of investment. In this environment, we expect to keep seeing big technology companies listing at home or abroad," said Maria Pinelli, Global Strategic Growth Markets Leader at Ernst & Young. – SG