LONDON, March 14 Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Marine
Services (GMS) made a muted stock market debut in
London, as the oil service vessel operator struggled to spark
investors' interest following a glut of new share listings.
GMS shares were changing hands at 135 pence at 0829 GMT,
unchanged from the level they were priced at earlier on Friday,
in conditional trading before they are officially listed on the
The company priced its initial public offering (IPO) at the
bottom of a range it had offered investors, giving it a market
capitalisation of 472 million pounds ($787.1 million).
The valuation, which was below expectations for $1 billion,
comes after several highly-valued flotations, including
Poundland and Circassia, which both listed at
the top of their price ranges in the past week.
A source familiar with the matter said GMS's offer had been
oversubscribed. "It's just sensible pricing," the source said.
The company is the latest UAE firm to spurn local stock
markets in favour of a prestigious London listing, following
Dubai real estate developer DAMAC, and Abu Dhabi
healthcare firms Al Noor Hospitals and NMC Healthcare
But the eagerness of such companies for a London listing has
not always been matched by enthusiasm from investors. DAMAC also
priced at the bottom of its range.
GMS said the listing will raise 66.9 million pounds for the
company, which it plans to use to purchase another small vessel,
repay shareholder loans and expand its business.
GMS operates a core fleet of nine boats which can be jacked
up on four legs to support operations at oil and gas platforms.
Private equity firm Gulf Capital reduced its 79 percent
stake in GMS to 51.9 percent, while Horizon Energy LLC and Al
Ain Capitall LLC cut their stakes to 6.5 percent from 10
The sale of existing shares is expected to raise 98.8
million pounds for the shareholders if no over-allotment is
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Barclays
were global coordinators and bookrunners with JP Morgan Cazenove
also acting as a bookrunner. Rothschild was the
financial adviser to the company.
Public trading will begin on March 19.