Empower boosts Dubai business debut after $724m IPO

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp. rose on its Dubai debut following an initial public offering that attracted $34 billion in orders, underscoring continued appetite for listings in the oil-rich Gulf.

Empower, as the district cooling firm calls it, jumped 9% to Dhs1.45 ($0.39), valuing it at around $4 billion. The shares later pared some gains to trade down 2.3% on Wednesday morning.

The Gulf was one of the busiest IPO markets in the world in 2022, a year otherwise marked by deep asset sales and recession fears.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, were boosted by oil trading near $100 a barrel and investor inflows.

Empower shareholders Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and Emirates Power Investment have doubled the size of the company’s offering to 20% in the face of huge demand. In total, they sold 2 billion shares at Dhs 1.33 each, the high end of the price range, raising Dhs 2.66 billion.

Empower is Dubai’s fourth privatization in recent months as the financial hub seeks to boost its liquidity. The IPOs have raised approximately $8.32 billion combined. Yet not all companies have seen strong demand for their stocks beyond their initial trading periods.

Citigroup, Emirates NBD Capital, Merrill Lynch International and EFG-Hermes arranged Empower’s deal. Moelis & Co. was the company’s independent financial advisor.

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