UAE- Union Properties unit ServeU to launch IPO in September

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Facilities management company ServeU, a subsidiary of Union Properties, will launch its IPO in September and aims to double the number of its workforce to 10,000 in the next couple of years through organic and inorganic measures, its general manager said.

"All the governance and strategies have been aligned to make sure that everything is in right place ahead of IPO which is planned for September this year and listing will be on the Dubai Financial Market. It is difficult to give the size of IPO or how much stake will be floated," Gary Reader told Khaleej Times in an interview.

It was Reader's first interview since taking over in January 2018.

ServeU is among the top five facility management companies in the UAE with over 5,000 employees, catering some of the UAE's biggest banks, hotels and government entities. Its services include property maintenance, general maintenance, security, cleaning, waste transportation and landscaping.

Gregory Hughes, Mena IPO leader at EY, told Khaleej Times earlier that the UAE does look particularly strong in terms of announced and potential IPOs. In the UAE, firms raised somewhere around $2.1 billion (Dh7.7 billion) through public listings.

"We expect the number of staff to reach 10,000 in the next two years. The intention of the new senior management is to join the Tier 1 league of top three facilities management companies within the next two years by increasing turnover, profit and size through acquisitions and expanding business through synergies with other companies. For the longer-term, the intention is to make it one of the leading services providers in the GCC region," he said.

ServeU is also introducing robotic automated cleaning devices at facilities in the UAE. The extensive testing of the machinery is complete with the final implementation conducted in Dubai Motor City. He noted that most of the new 5,000 staff will be hired in line with the growth of the company grows and addition of new clients. The company had also recently received approval of 1,500 new visas.

"Currently, we are bidding for 15 large tenders including Expo 2020 landscaping and cleaning contract and a couple of country pavilions." The company aims to grow revenues by 15 to 20 per cent in 2018, he added.

Reader stated that discussions are underway for a few acquisitions in the UAE. "These are medium-sized companies which are on the table for the acquisition. There was one company we were negotiating for acquisitions of almost the same size as we are but it didn't go through. But it is still there on the table and being discussed," he said, but didn't provide further details.

The company is also looking at joint ventures in Saudi Arabia and also in healthcare and education sectors in the UAE.

Reader also sees opportunities in Abu Dhabi's Western region.

"Currently, a team is doing prequalification in the region. Markets are busy, there is a lot of work. While cost is coming down as compared to last year, it is more of glass half-full than glass half-empty," he added.



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