(Bloomberg) -- Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp. is looking to raise as much as $700 million in a Dubai initial public offering that could see it list as soon as November, according to people familiar with the matter, as companies rush to take advantage of strong demand for Middle Eastern listings.

The district cooling firm, known as Empower, has held initial meetings with investors to drum up interest, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. It is set to be Dubai’s fourth privatization as part of the emirate’s plans to bolster its capital markets and its standing as a financial center.

Details of the IPO such as size and timing are still preliminary and subject to change, the people said. Empower could decide to proceed with the listing at the beginning of next year instead, they added. Empower didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

IPOs in the Middle East are continuing at a fast clip as a surge in oil prices and investor inflows at the start of 2022 made the region one of the few busy listings markets globally. Repeated bouts of volatility, inflation fears and stock markets in the red have caused IPOs to grind to a halt from London to New York and Hong Kong.

The most recent Dubai IPO, a $1 billion float of the city’s road-toll operator Salik Co., garnered a whopping $50 billion in orders and is trading around 10% above its offer price. The government has also sold stakes in its main utility and a business park operator as it implements a plan to list 10 state firms to catch up with an IPO boom that swept Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi last year.

Empower, established almost two decades ago, is 70% owned by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, which listed earlier this year in a $6.1 billion offering. It’s the world’s largest district cooling services provider, with a roughly 80% market share in Dubai, according to a presentation on its website.

It made a net profit of 432 million dirhams ($118 million) on revenue of 1.15 billion dirhams in the first half of the year, an 11% profit jump from a year earlier.

The company has appointed Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Emirates NBD Bank PJSC as joint global coordinators on its IPO, while Moelis and Emirates NBD are acting as financial advisers.


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