Overseas listings head to London as markets soar

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The Independent Online

Al Noor Hospitals, Abu Dhabi's largest medical care provider, is set to list on the London Stock Exchange in the latest sign that the City's IPO market is in rude health.

The company said it hopes to raise $150m (£99m) from the listing, which is likely to value it at up to $1bn. Al Noor will float up to 45 per cent of its shares and use the proceeds to finance acquisitions.

Kassem Alom, the chief executive, said: "There are strong trends driving the demand for healthcare in the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi in particular, including a rapidly ageing population, increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and a determination by regulators to broaden service capabilities.

"An IPO will provide Al Noor with the capital to meet these demands by allowing us to continue to expand our service offering, our outpatient medical centre network, grow organically within existing facilities and consider acquisitions across the UAE."

Al Noor is 50 per cent owned by Middle Eastern private equity firm Ithmar Capital as well as the company's two founders, Sheikh Mohammed bin Butti al-Hamed, who owns 35 per cent, and Mr Alom, who controls a further 15 per cent.

The hospital group will become the latest in a line of companies to list its shares in London this year and follow in the wake of Crest Nicholson, Countrywide and Esure.

Another company preparing to float is Partnership Assurance, which yesterday set a price range of 325p to 400p a share for its London listing. This values the private equity-owned insurer between £1.3bn and £1.6bn.

The news came as the FTSE 100 bounced back into life. London's leading share index climbed 1.62 per cent to 6762.01, having reached a 13-year high last Wednesday when it closed at 6840.27.