Oman appoints advisers for utility privatisation

21 November 2016

The government plans to divest its stake through a combination of private placement and initial public offering

The government of Oman is looking to divest its 49 per cent stake in Muscat Electricity Distribution Company (MEDC) by way of a private placement and selling the shares in state-controlled company to the public.

Nama Holding, the company represents the government stake in the power distribution firm, has appointed a transaction advisor to manage the divestment, as part of the Oman’s broader privatisation agenda, Times of Oman cited Nama as saying in a statement.

“The transaction advisor will carry out the studies and prepare the required documents for the process in addition to managing both the private and public placements of the transaction,” according to the statement, which didn’t name the company advising the government on the deal.. Subsequently, the advisor will undertake the necessary steps to list the company shares in Muscat Securities Market (MSM).

The government’s privatisation of MEDC will help strengthen the Muscat Securities Market, where its shares will be listed, according to the report which didn’t give a timeline for the public float.

MEDC could be floated imminently on the exchange, Abdullah al-Salmi, executive president of Oman’s Capital Markets Authority told MEED’s Outlook Oman on 24 October.

The company distributes electricity in Muscat Governorate, under a sector law from 2004 that unbundled transmission and distribution companies. MEDC is rated Baa2 stable by Moody’s Investors Service.

Apart from MEDC, Nama Group companies include Nama, Majan Electricity Company, Mazoon Electricity Company, Oman Electricity Transmission Company, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, Rural Areas Electricity Company, Wadi Al Jizzi Power Company, Al Ghubrah Power & Desalination Company, and Dhofar Power Company.

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