Tristar Pulls IPO in Setback for Dubai’s Stock Exchange

Middle Eastern logistics firm Tristar Transport has pulled its initial public offering in Dubai, dealing a blow to the city’s attempts to revive a stock market where just one company has listed in three years.

Tristar has informed Dubai’s main bourse that the IPO has been withdrawn, Chief Executive Eugene Mayne told Bloomberg in an interview. The deal was likely withdrawn “largely due to a mismatch in valuation expectations and investor education,” he said.

Tristar had set the price range for the offering at 2.20 dirhams to 2.70 dirhams per share. The firm was offering up to 24% of its shares in the IPO, valuing it at as much as 3.24 billion dirhams ($882 million), and the sale was scheduled to end on Thursday.

“We have strong cash flow and cash balances, we have capital for growth,” Mayne said, adding that the firm is not in a hurry to tap the IPO market again in the short term.

Setback for Dubai

The deal’s collapse is another setback for Dubai’s stock exchange after the recent delistings of major companies. Tristar’s IPO would have been only the second listing in three years in the Middle East’s financial hub.

The bourse was already under pressure from shrinking volumes, with the total value of shares traded in the Dubai Financial Market PJSC at about $18 billion last year. That put it far behind Saudi Arabia’s exchange, which saw $557 billion worth of shares change hands in 2020, a jump of 137% from the previous year.

Tristar Pulls IPO in Setback for Dubai’s Stock Exchange

Tristar’s valuation, on a relative basis, “is on the higher side -- at upper range of the price band -- when comparing with some of the global, regional peers in the logistics, transportation sector,” said Harshjit Oza, head of research at Abu Dhabi-based International Securities.

Tristar had initially planned to sell shares in London, but those plans were scuttled after a fraud at London-listed firm NMC Health Plc revealed $6 billion of hidden debt, increasing worries among global investors about governance and transparency issues at Gulf firms.

Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. are the global coordinators for the sale. First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Societe Generale SA and Kuwait Financial Centre KPSC are also involved in the sale. Moelis & Co is the financial adviser for the sale.

Tristar operates in 21 countries across three continents, and provides transportation and storage services to customers including Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., Total SA and Dow Inc.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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