Mubadala Satellite Operator Yahsat Jumps on Debut, Boosting Abu Dhabi IPO Push

Satellite operator Yahsat jumped in its Abu Dhabi trading debut, bolstering the emirate’s efforts to revive listings on an exchange that last hosted an initial public offering in 2017.

Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. rose as much 13% on Wednesday before trimming gains to 1.8%, closing at 2.8 dirhams. The company is owned by Abu Dhabi’s $243 billion sovereign fund Mubadala Investment Co., which will keep a majority stake after the listing.

Abu Dhabi’s exchange has been reaching out to state-run and family owned companies, offering incentives such as flexibility on the minimum required stake size and reduced or zero fees, Bloomberg reported in May.

Mubadala is close to listing Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC, while state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is considering selling shares in its drilling business and has started preparations for a potential IPO of its fertilizer joint venture.

Yahsat’s share sale is the second-largest on record in the emirate, after Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. for Distribution PJSC raised $850.8 million in a 2017 offering, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It is also the first IPO in Abu Dhabi since that listing.

Mubadala sold 975.9 million Yahsat shares, representing a 40% stake, for 2.75 dirhams each, the mid point of a marketed range. The sale attracted foreign and “high quality” investors, the company said in a statement last week. The Emirates Investment Authority subscribed to 5% of the offer.

Yahsat provides satellite communications solutions to more than 150 countries, according to its website. Its fleet of five satellites reaches more than 80% of the world’s population, and the company expects to launch a new satellite in 2023, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The company has been profitable for at least the last three years, with net income rising to 253 million dirhams ($69 million) in 2020.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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