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Saudi’s ACWA Power plans late 2018 IPO, foreign as well as local listing

Saudi’s ACWA Power plans late 2018 IPO, foreign as well as local listing


Saudi Arabia-based power and water project developer ACWA Power will probably conduct an initial public offer of shares in late 2018, listing on a big foreign market as well as the Saudi bourse, its chief executive said.
“We are a growing business, we are a capital-consuming business, and we will be looking to have a broader platform of shareholders,” Paddy Padmanathan said in an interview.
“It could be Shanghai, it could be London, it could be New York – we will evaluate,” he said of the foreign listing venue.
The company, which operates in 11 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, focuses on renewable energy projects.
The company is owned by a number of international and Saudi conglomerates as well as by Sanabil Direct Investment Co, which in turn is owned by the Public Investment Fund and the Saudi Public Pensions Agency.
The Saudi government is on the verge of launching a privatisation drive that could produce scores of new listings in the next several years.
ACWA plans to consider bidding for many assets offered by the privatisation scheme, which could help to make Saudi Arabia the company’s largest market for renewable energy by 2030, Padmanathan said. Its biggest renewable energy market is currently Morocco.
For example, ACWA expects bidding for a 300-megawatt solar plant worth around $600 million to occur in August, and a 400-megawatt wind plant worth around $700 million to be offered towards the end of the year.
The two plants are independent power producer projects, in which private firms sell electricity to the government.
Saudi Arabia aims to produce 10 percent of its power from renewable sources within the next six years as it pushes ahead with a multi-billion-dollar plan to diversify its energy mix and free more crude oil for export.
ACWA, which this month raised $814 million with a debut bond issue, plans to raise debt later this year and perhaps in early 2018, depending on its investment needs, Padmanathan said.
“We have capacity to raise another $1.5 billion, but it is not about raising money and keeping it in the bank … It is very much dependent on new investment needs coming up. We have a pipeline, we have a time horizon. Neither we nor the offerers of projects are in control of everything, so it takes time.” (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Dale Hudson)

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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