Middle East tech start-up iMENA plans more than $100 million IPO

A pre-IPO fund-raising will start early next year

Gulf News

Dubai: Middle East technology investor iMENA Holdings is planning an initial public offering on an international exchange and possible second listing in the Middle East as early as next year.

The company, which invests in online businesses in the Middle East and North Africa, may raise more than $100 million (Dh367 million) from the sale, founder and managing director Khaldoon Tabaza said today in a TV interview with Bloomberg Markets Middle East. A pre-IPO fund-raising will start early next year, with the main share sale planned for late 2017 or early 2018, Tabaza said. The primary listing could be in the US or London, he said.

“The IPO size will have to be significant to attract investors in international markets, so we are thinking a little bit more than $100 million,” Tabaza said, declining to comment on the size of the stake that would be offered.

IMENA, whose early investors include Abu Dhabi government controlled telecom operator Etisalat Telecommunications Group Co PJSC, is among companies seeking to benefit from rising smartphone and internet usage in the Middle East. The company operates online marketplaces, taxi booking and restaurant reservations businesses including SellAnyCar.com and opensouq.com.

Tabaza previously founded Riyada Ventures, a Jordan-based venture capital firm in 2005, which was sold to Abraaj Group in 2009. He established iMENA in 2013.

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