Saudi fund digital security firm seeks $820m in IPO

(Bloomberg) – Elm Co., a digital security company owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is seeking to raise up to $820 million through an IPO as the kingdom moves forward with plans to raise funds by selling holdings in a group of companies .

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The price range for the initial public offering was set at 113 riyals ($30.13) to 128 riyals, according to a statement. Institutional bookbuilding for 24 million shares will begin on Sunday and end on Friday.

The IPO comes as Middle Eastern countries step up efforts to sell shares of private companies and increase liquidity in their stock markets. Saudi Arabia was the region’s leader last year, with several listings including the Saudi Stock Exchange, ACWA Power and the internet services unit of Saudi Telecom Co.

The sale also comes amid the state-owned Public Investment Fund which plans to penetrate public markets deeper this year by investing about $10 billion more in listed stocks. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark has jumped 9% this year, extending its 30% gains into 2021.

Elm traces its roots to a research company established in the 1980s. It has developed several online services for the Saudi government, including the Absher platform, which allows residents and citizens to perform transactions such as paying fines roads.

The Riyadh-based company has also created a system for managing the entry of foreign pilgrims into the kingdom to visit Mecca and Medina, according to information from Elm’s website.

Riyad Capital is the financial adviser and underwriter for the IPO, which opens to retail investors for four days from February 3 after the book building process. Click here for the link to the prospectus.

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