Oman OQ to offer 49 percent stake in gas pipeline unit

It may turn out to be the largest in the history of the Sultanate
Oman OQ to offer 49 percent stake in gas pipeline unit
Oman's OQ

Capital markets in the Arabian Gulf are awaiting Oman OQ‘s IPO of gas networks, scheduled for this month, and is expected to be the largest offering in Oman’s history.

OQ Gas Networks plans to offer 49 percent of its shares for an initial public offering of OMR 212 million ($548.8 million) and list them on the Muscat Stock Exchange in October.

OQ Gas Networks’ IPO is expected to raise between $700 million and $800 million, making it the largest in Oman’s history since Oman Telecommunications raised 288 million riyals ($748.09 million) by selling a 30 percent stake in 2005, Reuters reported.

The offering is part of the Sultanate’s privatization program aimed at reviving the country’s coffers and expanding its stock exchange, similar to listings in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have raised billions of dollars over the past few years.

According to a statement issued on Monday, OQ will offer the desired stake in OQ Gas Networks from the stake of Oman Energy Trading Company Limited and Oman Petroleum Services Company Limited.

The company indicated that the offering will be conducted in a manner approved by the Capital Market Authority, provided that the shares will be offered in two tranches: The first category includes 70% of the total offered shares (30% of the offer shares in this category are reserved for prime investors). The second category comprises 30 percent of the total shares offered to individual investors.

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During a press conference held on Monday at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center to reveal the details of the subscription of “OQ Gas Networks”, the company explained that if the total applications in the second category are less than 30% of the offering after the full allocation is made to the second category investors, the rest will be returned to the first category investors in the event of an increase in applications in the first category.

The IPO will contribute to economic growth, as well as create further development and innovation opportunities in Oman’s energy sector.

OQ Gas Networks’ IPO comes as the Omani giant continues to excel. It recently received the ISO 55001 certification in recognition of its outstanding performance and ability to manage assets according to the best international standards.

In March, OQ floated its oil exploration unit, Abraaj Energy Services, and raised $244 million in the IPO, Oman’s largest listing in more than a decade.

“This offering is the largest share issue in the Omani capital market, and is the second company in the oil and gas sector to be listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange, which will strengthen the capital market sector and the Muscat Stock Exchange, in addition to attracting local and foreign investments,” Amayena News Agency quoted the CEO of the Capital Market Authority, Abdullah bin Salem Al Salmi, as saying.

Mansoor bin Ali Al Abdali, CEO of OQ Gas Networks, said that the company owns the infrastructure for gas transportation to support various sectors and the economy in the Sultanate of Oman, and is the exclusive operator of the natural gas network.

He expressed hope that the OQ Gas Networks IPO will open new horizons for the company from the growth phase and focus on providing the core resources that support this growth.

OQ Gas Networks is the exclusive operator of gas transmission networks in the Sultanate of Oman, delivering natural gas to power stations, free zones, industrial clusters, liquefied gas parks and other customers.

OQ Gas Networks, a subsidiary of Oman’s state-owned energy company OQ, owns and manages all gas transport in Oman via a 4,000-kilometre network of gas pipelines, according to OQ’s website.

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