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DealStreetAsia

Bahrain ASMA's Asia-focused arm files for $200m IPO

Firm seeks acquisitions in South and Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Africa

Bahrain-based ASMA Capital has shareholders including Bahrain’s Ministry of Finance, the Islamic Development Bank of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia’s Public Pension Agency, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Brunei’s Ministry of Finance.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Bahrain-based multi-fund asset management firm ASMA Capital Partners has filed for a $200 million IPO on Nasdaq of Global SPAC Partners, which will seek acquisitions in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA), and South and Southeast Asia.

ASMA Capital's shareholders include the Islamic Development Bank of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia's Public Pension Agency, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, Bahrain's Ministry of Finance and Brunei's Ministry of Finance.

ASMA Capital's IDB Fund II has $750 million of committed capital and plans to invest in power and energy, transportation and logistics, telecom infrastructure, water and waste, and education and healthcare.

A special purpose acquisition company is a company without operations which is formed only to raise capital to acquire other businesses. SPACs are also called blank check companies.

The SPAC isn't limited by industry, but its directors are likely to use their "significant experience" to invest in sectors with "relatively secure and predictable returns," such as infrastructure and utilities, according to the prospectus filed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

"We will consider companies in a wide range of industries, but generally will seek to acquire a simple, high-quality business that generates predictable cash flows that can be estimated within a reasonable range over the long term," the prospectus says. "We will prefer targets that have low sensitivity to macroeconomic factors, with minimal commodity exposure and/or cyclical risk."

The proposed maximum offer price is $10 a share; the offering will have 230 million units if the overallotment option is exercised.

Glazer Capital, Sea Otter Securities Group and Mint Tower Capital Management will be anchor investors and have expressed interest in acquiring $50 million worth of shares, or $57.5 million if the overallotment option is exercised.

Bryant B. Edwards, the SPAC's CEO, was previously the chief operating officer of Twelve Seas, a Nasdaq-listed SPAC that raised $207 million in 2018 and acquired UAE-based oil services player Brooge Energy in 2019, the prospectus says.

Abu Bakar Chowdhury, who has been a managing director and the CFO of ASMA Capital since 2013, will be chairman of Global SPAC Partners, the prospectus says.

For the original story from DealStreetAsia, click here.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore that focuses on private equity, venture capital and corporate investment activity in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, India and Greater China. Nikkei owns a majority stake in the company.

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