UAE's Shuaa set to gain as Spotify's Mideast rival Anghami lists on Nasdaq

Arab music streaming platform set to go public after merger deal with SPAC

A man walks near Nasdaq MarketSite in an empty Times Square as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in New York City, U.S., March 29, 2020.

A man walks near Nasdaq MarketSite in an empty Times Square as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in New York City, U.S., March 29, 2020.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

UAE’s publicly listed  financial services firm Shuaa Capital is looking to boost its results following a merger deal and listing of Anghami, a homegrown Arab music streaming platform, on Nasdaq.

Abu Dhabi-based Anghami, which means “my tunes” in Arabic, had entered into a definitive merger agreement with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The transaction will result in Anghami becoming the first Middle East technology firm to list on Nasdaq New York.

The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2021 and it includes a $30 million commitment from Shuaa Capital, as well as $10 million from Vistas Media Capital, through an arrangement called private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing.

“Shuaa acted as the lead arranger for the transaction which is expected to have a positive effect on the company’s Q2 2021 financial results,” the asset management and investment banking firm told the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on Thursday.

Anghami is considered as Spotify’s rival in the Middle East. It first started providing music streaming services in 2012. So far, it has more than 70 million registered users on its platform.

The company’s revenues grew 80 percent over the last three years and are expected to expand five-fold over the next three years.

“Shuaa led a funding round for Anghami earlier in the year and has been working closely with the team to secure the PIPE investment and deliver a successful listing on Nasdaq… The enhanced reputation and access to capital that comes with a listing on Nasdaq accelerates the company’s growth journey,” said Jassim Alseddiqi, group CEO of Shuaa.

Launchpad for innovators

According to Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the Nasdaq listing will enable Anghami to invest in innovation and accelerate its international growth plans.

“It will also establish a template for other companies in Abu Dhabi to realise their full potential by tapping into global capital markets.”

Al Hammadi also stressed that the deal highlights Abu Dhabi as a launchpad for innovators to excel in the global markets.

“We support investors and companies on every step of their journey. Going public on Nasdaq will enable Anghami to invest innovation from its Abu Dhabi headquarters.”

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2021

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