Investcorp to withdraw from Bahrain Stock Exchange after nearly 40 years
Investcorp Holdings BSC, the Middle East’s largest alternative asset manager, to be delisted from the Bahrain Stock Exchange after nearly four decades in response to low trading volumes, the latest in a series of companies in the region to return to private property.
The company, which manages more than $ 35 billion in assets, gained investor approval to withdraw from the listing at a shareholder meeting in Bahrain on Wednesday. Investcorp shareholders will have the option of either letting the company buy back the shares or remaining as investors in a private entity.
“Looking at our future strategy and growth plans, Investcorp is better for its shareholders as a private company,” said co-CEO Hazem Ben-Gacem in an interview. “This is where we Feel we can generate the best returns and execute our strategy without having to worry about quarterly results or some other public market requirements.
The company will continue to be headquartered in Manama, with the The Central Bank of Bahrain as the main regulator, Ben-Gacem said.
Investcorp is one of the largest international financial firms in Bahrain, which was the financial center of the Middle East until the rise of Dubai as a commercial and banking center in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Yet trading on the Bahrain Stock Exchange has stagnated in recent years. Some days less than a million shares change hands and Investcorp shares are rarely traded.
Sluggish trade, falling prices and liquidity, and companies’ desire to evade investor scrutiny have resulted in write-offs in Dubai. Emaar Properties PJSC said in March that it would effectively delist one of its units for about two-thirds of its initial public offering price. At the end of last year, the government-controlled Meraas Holding LLC offered to privatize DXB Entertainments with a 33% discount.
Founded by Nemir Kirdar in 1982, Investcorp shareholders include some of the richest business kings and tycoons in the Middle East.
Originally established to raise funds in the Gulf and invest them in the United States and Europe, the company has evolved to become more global in recent years. Investcorp recently opened its first office in Beijing as it pursues an expansion plan in Asia, and is also currently raising a $ 1 billion North American private equity fund to make larger buyouts there. people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in March.
The fund manager is already the Gulf’s largest private investor in US real estate and has said it wants to increase its assets under management to $ 50 billion in the coming years. Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. acquired in 2017 a 20% stake in Investcorp, which has supported companies such as Tiffany & Co. and Gucci Ltd.
The delisting, which is still subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed next month, Ben-Gacem said.
– With the help of Filipe Pacheco