Wednesday, February 21

Arabian Drilling Draws $43 Billion in Orders for Riyadh IPO

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(Bloomberg) — Arabian Drilling Co., a Saudi oilfield-services firm partly held by Schlumberger NV, drew $43 billion in orders for its initial public offering, underscoring the strong investor appetite for Middle Eastern share sales.

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The company set the final offer price at 100 riyals ($26.6) a share, the top end of a range, raising $710 million after a book-building process for institutional investors. The IPO opens for retail investors on Oct. 18 until Oct. 19 .

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The Middle East has been a bright spot for IPOs in 2022, a year otherwise marked by stock selloffs and recession fears. Elevated oil prices and investor inflow drove deals in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the deals pipeline still remains busy.

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Arabian Drilling’s offering was fully covered across the price range of 90 riyals and 100 riyals a share within only hours of opening for subscription. About a third of the IPO will be new shares, and the proceeds will be used to scale up onshore and offshore fleet and expand operations in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

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“Global investors have come to recognize the significant and integral role we play — and will continue to play — in the oil and gas value chain in the kingdom,” Chief Executive Officer Ghassan Mirdad said in a statement. “Looking ahead, we also have plans to grow and expand further into the GCC, where we are also witnessing strong demand increases.”

Arabian Drilling was founded in 1964 and counts Saudi Aramco among its main customers. Saudi Arabia’s Industrialization & Energy Services Co. owns 51% of the firm, while Services Petroliers Schlumberger owns the rest.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc and SNB Capital are managing the IPO.