Mostafa Gad, Global Head of Investment Banking at EFG Hermes

EFG Hermes, an EFG Holding Company and the leading investment bank in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), announced today that its investment banking division successfully completed its advisory on the USD 515 million initial public offering (IPO) of Alef Education Holding (Alef Education), an award-winning AI-powered learning solutions provider based in Abu Dhabi, on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). EFG Hermes acted as Joint Global Coordinator and Joint Bookrunner on the transaction.

Alef Education offered a total of 20 per cent of its total issued share capital through the sale of 1.4 billion existing shares held by Tech Nova Investment – Sole Proprietorship L.L.C and Kryptonite Investments LLC – O.P.C. at Dh1.35 per share, implying a market capitalization of AED 9.45 billion (USD 2.6 billion).

The IPO captured overwhelming demand from local, regional, and international investors, with the total book covered approximately 39 times. The company began trading today under the ticker [AlefEdT].

Mostafa Gad, Global Head of Investment Banking at EFG Hermes, commented, “The IPO of Alef Education on the ADX is a landmark achievement, marking our first Joint Global Coordinator role on an IPO on the ADX and representing the first tech listing in the UAE with a public offering. The overwhelming demand for Alef Education's shares underscores the company's compelling equity story and significant growth potential, as recognised by a diverse group of investors.

"This successful IPO is not just a testament to Alef Education's innovative approach to digital learning but also a reflection of our steadfast commitment to supporting the development of the UAE and the broader GCC capital markets. With this being our tenth ECM transaction in the GCC and sixth in the UAE this year, we continue reinforcing our dedication to fostering market growth and delivering exceptional value to our clients. We are proud to contribute to this pivotal moment in the UAE's evolving financial landscape, and we look forward to further opportunities that drive progress and innovation in the region.”

Alef Education is an award-winning provider of AI-powered personalized learning solutions and digital education resources provider across grades K-12 for governments, primary and secondary schools, educators, students, and their parents in the UAE and globally. Alef Education has successfully enhanced student performance, evidenced by an average 8.5 per cent score increase across Arabic and Math in Indonesia.

Serving 1.1 million students, 50,000 teachers, and 7,000 schools as of 2023, it boasts consistent profitability, with a 62 per cent average adjusted EBITDA margin (2021-2023), a strong balance sheet, and long-term contracts ensuring revenue stability. Key partnerships, like the long-standing contract with Abu Dhabi's ADEK, secure predictable revenue for seven years. Operating in the UAE, Indonesia, and the US, the company employs both organic and inorganic growth strategies to capitalize on the growing EdTech sector, driven by an experienced management team committed to post-IPO growth and shareholder value.

This is the latest in a series of landmark deals that EFG Hermes has advised on in the GCC region over the years, including 10 ECM deals in 2024 so far including Alef. Most recently, the investment banking division advised on the private placement of Beyout Investment Group (BIG) on Boursa Kuwait as joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner for the listing, following acting as joint bookrunner on the fully marketed secondary public offering of Saudi Aramco on the Saudi Exchange. The team also recently worked as a joint financial advisor, bookrunner, and Underwriter on Miahona’s IPO with oversubscription for institutional tranche 178.3 times, in addition to acting as joint bookrunner and underwriter on the IPO of healthcare provider Fakeeh Care Group on the Saudi Exchange, with the total book covered almost 119 times which followed the firm’s role in the Accelerated Equity Offering for ADNOC Drilling as a Joint Global Coordinator and Joint Bookrunner for.

Furthermore, the Firm has acted as a joint bookrunner on the IPO of Spinneys, an operator of premium grocery retail supermarkets, on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), which was covered more than 64 times, and Parkin’s IPO on the DFM – the most oversubscribed IPO on the DFM to date.