Qatari bottled water company considers IPO

13 June 2016

The largest local supplier of water in the country plans to sell shares this year

Qatar’s largest local supplier of bottled water, Rayyan Water, is planning plans to list its on Qatar Exchange by the end of this year, a sign of life for the bourse which has seen little appetite for public floats in the last five years.

The listing, if successful, will help diversify the bourse which is dominated by financial services, insurance and real estate companies. It would be only the third new listing in Qatar since 2010, following the initial public offering (IPO) of Mesaieed Petrochemicals in 2014 and the listing of Qatar First Bank last month. Rayyan would aim to list 50 per cent of its shares in the initial public offering (IPO). Qatar’s Masraf al-Rayan is advising on the share sale.

“We are having to redo some paper work… but we are targeting the end of the year,” news agency Reuters cited Khalifa Khalid al-Rabban, the deputy chairman of Al-Rabban Holding, which fully owns Rayyan, as saying.

The family-run Al-Rabban Holding’s portfolio spans interests in contracting, cement, general sponsorship and trading.

“The family is selling half of the business,” said Rabban. “Whether it (the cash) will be invested or not, we still haven’t decided.”

Family businesses around the Gulf states face a challenging environment as the plunge in oil prices since 2014 has led to slower growth, even in Qatar, which has the highest per capita income in the world.

Rabban, however, said the decision to list was based more on the company’s maturity than economic factors.

“The company has been with the family for 32 years. With this I believe you will have better control, better regulations and corporate governance. Business is not a one-man show anymore. An IPO is protective for the interests of our company.”

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