Ranhill Utilities ramps up portfolio ahead of IPO
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The power and water specialist needs capital to expand in China. It is considering returning to the Bursa Malaysia after a four-year absence.
Following a rapid ramp-up in its portfolio of water treatment plants, developer Ranhill Utilities expects to relist on the Malaysian stock exchange as early as March 2013, CEO Ahmad Zahdi Jamil told GWI. The company wants to raise $100 million to fuel its expansion in China, where it has won four new projects in recent months, adding 360,000m3/d to its portfolio capacity (see table).
Zahdi expects to reach total treatment capacity of 1 million m3/d in China by the end of this year, and to maintain a rapid growth dynamic going forward. Koh Boon Sian, the CEO of Ranhill Water Technologies – which acts as a holding company for the group’s international water assets – will head up a new entity in China and drive forward the company’s strategy.
Management had also considered listing Ranhill Utilities in Hong Kong, but it now looks set to focus on the Kuala Lumpur exchange, which it left in 2008 following a buyout by its parent company, Ranhill Berhad. The parent itself was subsequently delisted in November last year following a takeover spearheaded by its chief executive Hamdan Mohamad.
Immediately prior to last year’s publicto- private deal, Ranhill Berhad’s share price had been dragged down by concerns over its exposure to oil and gas projects in the Middle East, and especially in Sudan. The strategy now is to separate off the oil and gas activities and allow the water and power sides of the business to go public again.
There may also be opportunities for Ranhill to expand at home. SPAN, the Malaysian water industry regulator, is understood to be considering tendering a nationwide NRW reduction contract.