Abu Dhabi's IPO Fizzles

Abu Dhabi's IPO Fizzles

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  • Shares in Alef Education, a UAE-based edtech company, fell on their first trading day on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on Wednesday. The stock, which opened flat, dropped by Dh1.11 ($0.3022) per share, or nearly 18%, compared to its IPO price of Dh1.35. It recovered slightly to close 12.6% lower at Dh1.18 per share, making it the biggest loser and most traded stock on the ADX for the day. This drop contrasts with recent strong demand for new UAE listings, such as Agility Global, whose shares nearly quadrupled in value after debuting on May 2.

  • Alef's IPO, in which Tech Nova Investment and Kryptonite Investments offered 1.4 billion shares (20% of the company's issued share capital), raised Dh1.89 billion, pricing at the top of the range and implying a market capitalization of Dh9.45 billion at open. Despite the initial drop, the IPO was 39 times oversubscribed, drawing $20 billion in orders from investors. Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO of Alef Education, emphasized the strong fundamentals and growth prospects of the company, which aims to pay an annualized dividend of Dh135 million for the financial years ending December 31, 2024, and 2025. Alef, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi Capital Group, offers AI-powered learning and digital education resources to schools in multiple countries, including the UAE, Jordan, Indonesia, Morocco, and the US. The platform serves about 7,000 schools, 1.1 million registered students, and 50,000 teachers.

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Alphonso also  highlighted the company’s focus on expanding in the GCC region and its robust mergers and acquisitions pipeline, aiming to close one to two accretive deals this year to support growth ambitions.


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