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Abu Dhabi’s Multiply Group plans $845 million M&A expansion drive

DUBAI (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi holding company Multiply Group, which counts state-linked International Holding Co as a major shareholder, will spend 3.1 billion dirhams ($845 million) raised in last month’s listing on deals to fuel expansion, its chief executive said on Friday.

Multiply, which was established in 2003 as a communications agency, was acquired by conglomerate IHC in 2020 before it was listed in a private placement on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.

IHC, whose chairman is United Arab Emirates National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed AlNahyan, is one of the most valued listed companies in the Gulf Arab state.

Multiply describes itself as a “tech-focused holding company”, whose subsidiaries also include companies providing district cooling, driving lessons and spa treatment services.

Chief Executive Samia Bouazza told Reuters the majority of the 3.1 billion dirhams would be spent on investments and acquisitions, spread “almost equally” across its business units.

“We are very bold and we are very aggressive in looking out for good opportunities,” she told Reuters in an interview, adding that Multiply was assessing at several deals in Europe. She did not provide details on the potential deals.

Bouazza, who founded the company, said investments would need to bring financial returns, “healthy” internal rate of returns and provide “strategic value” to Multiply’s companies.

“The time frame is as soon as the opportunities present themselves.”

Multiply in late December announced it would invest 275 million dirhams in Getty Images ahead of the media company’s planned merger this year with a special acquisitions company (SPAC).

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

Date: January 14, 2022

Source: Abu Dhabi’s Multiply Group plans $845 million M&A expansion drive | Reuters