UAE: Alef Education IPO oversubscribed 39 times

Final offer price values company at Dh9.45 billion

by

Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Published: Thu 6 Jun 2024, 6:46 PM

Alef Education Holding plc, an AI-powered learning solutions provider based in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday announced that its initial public offering was oversubscribed 39 times, with total gross demand from local, regional, and international investors amounting to over Dh74 billion,

Alef also announced the successful completion of the bookbuild and subscription process for on the main market of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.


The final offer price has been set at Dh1.35 per share, at the top end of the previously announced offer price range. This implies a market capitalisation at the time of listing of Dh9.45 billion and results in offer proceeds of Dh1.89 billion.

The company expects to distribute a minimum dividend of Dh135 million with respect to each of its financial years ending December 31, 2024 and 2025 to all other shareholders (other than the selling shareholders), implying an annualised minimum dividend yield of 7.1 per cent based on the final offer price.


Admission of shares to trading on the ADX is anticipated to occur on or around June 12, under the ticker symbol “AlefEdT”.

Geoffrey Alphonso, chief executive officer of Alef Education, commented: “Global and regional investors alike have come to recognize the significant and integral role we play — and will continue to play — in the education sector across our operating markets. As a trusted partner of choice to governments, schools, and educators, the 39x oversubscription in our IPO not only reflects the appeal of our offering but also the belief in our future growth and ability to continue advancing educational outcomes for the communities we serve. The demand for our products and services remains high, especially given the increasing public and private investment in education across the Mena [Middle East and North Africa] region. Looking ahead, we have ambitious growth plans to expand further into our target markets, broaden our product offering and continue delivering value to our core UAE market. Our investment proposition is strong, and the robust demand for our shares has ensured a successful IPO process. We now look forward to onboarding our new shareholders, including local retail investors who make up a core and important element of our Offering and shareholding going forward.”

The company and selling shareholders confirm the offering size of 1.4 billion shares, equivalent to 20 per cent of the group’s issued share capital. Based on the final offer price, and upon listing, the annualised dividend yield to all other shareholders (other than the selling shareholders) will be a minimum of 7.1 per cent. Following the completion of the IPO, the selling shareholders, Tech Nova Investment – Sole Proprietorship L.L.C and Kryptonite Investments L.L.C, will retain shareholdings of 68 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

Investors who subscribed through the first franche will receive an SMS confirmation of their respective allocation on June 11, with refunds due to commence from the same date.

Alef Education’s IPO marks another milestone not just for the company but also for the UAE’s thriving IPO market, which is witnessing remarkable growth in 2024. The overwhelming demand for Alef’s shares underscores investors’ confidence in the company’s vision and potential. It’s evident that Alef Education has captured the attention of investors seeking opportunities in the education technology sector. Alef’s subscription figures, even though relatively lower compared to recent IPOs like Spinneys and Parkin, are substantial, echoing the fervent investor interest seen across various offerings,” Vijay Valecha Chief Investment Officer Century Financial, told Khaleej times.

Investors can expect Alef’s shares to surge higher as the current price of Dh1.35 “implies a PE multiple of a mere 20x”, Valecha said. Being an ED tech company with an asset-light model, Alef should ideally command a higher premium, he added.

While EdTech may be considered a niche sector, Alef Education’s strong demand underscores its pivotal role in shaping the future of education and technology integration. “As the shares are set to commence trading on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “AlefEdT,” Alef Education is poised to lead the charge in driving innovation and transformation within the education landscape, contributing to the UAE’s ongoing evolution as a hub for investment and innovation,” Valecha said.

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