Sunday, February 5

backed Saudi digital security firm Elm set to raise $818 mln in IPO

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DUBAI — Saudi Arabian digital security firm Elm, owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, is set to raise 3.07 billion riyals ($818 million) after pricing its initial public offering at the top of its indicative price range. Elm on Sunday priced the deal at 128 riyals a share, against an indicative price of 113 to 128 riyals per share. It is selling 24 million shares in the deal or 30% of its share capital.

Elm provides secure e-business services and information technology, as well as project support services and government project outsourcing in Saudi Arabia, according to its website.

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Saudi Arabia has had a surge in IPOs since it listed oil giant Saudi Aramco in a record $29.4 billion listing in 2019.

Saudi Arabia is also encouraging more family-owned companies to list in a bid to deepen its capital markets under a reform push aimed at cutting the kingdom’s reliance on oil revenues.

The sale of Elm’s stake by the $480 billion Public Investment Fund is another move by the fund to monetise some of its assets through the equity capital market. In December, it raised $3.2 billion through the sale of a 6% stake in Saudi Telecom in a secondary share offering.

The country’s bourse operator Tadawul, which is also partly owned by the PIF, listed last year in a $1.01 billion IPO.

Tadawul said in December it had 50 applications from companies for IPOs this year and is considering whether to allow blank-check companies, known as SPACs, to list.

($1 = 3.7515 riyals) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by William Mallard and Raissa Kasolowsky)