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Thursday, 21 January 2021

e-Finance going to market in 1H?

State-owned payments platform e-Finance looks to be reviving its planned IPO, tapping auditors BDO as an independent financial consultant to assess the company, according to an unconfirmed report in the local press. E-Finance had reportedly tapped Baker Tilly back in 2019 to prepare the fair value report.

The listing could go ahead in the next quarter: BDO is expected to complete the assessment in the first quarter of the year, with the IPO expected to take place in 2Q2021, the sources said. As with any story citing unnamed sources on the timing of a transaction: Take that with a tablespoon of salt.

And the stake size? Still not set, but look for more at the company’s general assembly meeting next month.

The listing has been repeatedly pushed over the past few years: After being postponed in 2019, the company’s plans to go public in April were derailed by the pandemic. The government has since pushed the IPO to 4Q2020, then to 1Q2021, and now to 2Q.

Is now the right time to take an IPO to market? Financial Regulatory Authority boss Mohamed Omran thinks so, saying earlier this week that he expects market liquidity to improve in the coming months.

Who else is plotting an upcoming listing (brought to you by the Enterprise IPO Tracker™)? CI Capital’s Taaleem and non-banking financial services firm Ebtikar are both considering a 1Q IPO, while consumer healthcare play IDH has hinted at a dual listing during the first six months of the year.

Advisors: Financial services company NI Capital is acting as the government consultant for the e-Finance’s potential listing, while Pharos Holding and Renaissance Capital are joint global coordinators. Zaki Hashem & Partners were previously reported to have been retained as legal advisors. Inktank is investor relations advisor.

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