Dubai’s Averda Explores IPO After Ditching SPAC Merger Talks
(Bloomberg) -- Averda is exploring an initial public offering in Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest firm seeking to join a wave of listings in the Persian Gulf.
The Dubai-based provider of waste-disposal services held merger talks with U.S. blank-check firm Better World Acquisition Corp. earlier this year, but those discussions have been abandoned, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private.
So far, the Gulf region has defied a global slowdown in IPOs, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, soaring inflation and hawkish central banks curb risk appetite elsewhere. At the same time, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have stepped up efforts to attract foreign investors by opening up their economies and listing state-backed assets.
Averda declined to comment. Better World Acquisition didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Led by Chief Executive Officer Malek Sukkar, Averda is one of the largest waste-management firms in the Middle East and Africa. The privately-owned business has in the past considered an IPO and sold a 33% stake to Bahrain-based private equity firm Growthgate Capital in 2008.
With operations from South Africa to India, Averda has more than 60,000 clients in sectors including oil and gas, automotive and hospitality, its website shows. Its services include street cleaning, bin collection and disposal of hazardous and household waste.
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