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Dubai to sell 25 percent stake in public parking business via IPO

Both deals garnered strong demand from investors; books were oversubscribed multiple times

By News Desk
February 28, 2024
Vehicles can be seen parked in Dubai. — AFP/File
Vehicles can be seen parked in Dubai. — AFP/File

DUBAI: The Dubai government is selling a 24.99 percent stake in Parking, which oversees public parking operations in the emirate, through an initial public offering in the emirate's first privatisation deal this year, Parkin said in a statement on Tuesday.

The firm operated about 179,000 paid public parking spaces across the Dubai emirate as of the end of last year, of which 4,000 or so were at multi-storey car parks (MSCP). It also manages an additional 18,000 spaces at developer-owned facilities, it said.

Parkin, which expects to make its bourse debut next month, booked revenue of 779 million dirham ($212.1 million) in 2023, up 14 percent from a year earlier, while its core profit rose 23 percent to 414 million dirham.

Reuters was first to report in June last year that the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) was considering strategic options for its parking business and invited banks to pitch for roles in a potential IPO.

The RTA is monetising assets on behalf of the Dubai government as part of a wider privatisation programme to list state-linked companies and boost attention to its exchange, as the city keeps attracting droves of wealthy individuals and experiences strong population growth.

The RTA raised $1 billion from the sale of a 25 percent stake in toll-road operator Salik in 2022 and another $315 million in December from the sale of another 24.99 percent stake in Dubai Taxi Corporation, its public taxi business.

Both deals garnered strong demand from investors; books were oversubscribed multiple times.

"We had very good and great feedback" Chief Financial Officer Khattab Abu Qaoud said when asked about market appetite for the IPO. He added that proceeds would go to Parkin's sole shareholder Dubai Investment Fund (DIF).

DIF plans to sell 749.7 million shares, with the offering beginning on March 5. The price range will be announced on the same day, and thesubscription period ends on March 12 for retail investors.

Rothschild was appointed as independent financial adviser while Emirates NBD, Goldman Sachs and HSBC are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners. After the offering, Parkin plans to pay a semi-annual dividend in April and October, Abu Qaoud said, adding the minimum dividend payout for 2024 would be more than the net profit for the year, or exceed free cash flow to equity.

Companies domiciled in the Gulf Cooperation Council raised $11 billion in IPO proceeds in 2023, down 45 percent from 2022. GCC IPOs accounted for 40 percent of proceeds raised in EMEA during 2023, down from 56 percent during 2022, LSEG data showed.