(Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi-based Alef Education’s shareholders plan to sell a 20% stake in an initial public offering that will be the first in the United Arab Emirates’ capital this year.

Tech Nova Investment – Sole Proprietorship LLC and Kryptonite Investments LLC will offer 1.4 billion shares in the edtech firm, according to a statement on Monday. The underwriters will take orders for the shares from May 28, with trading set to begin around June 12.

The deal comes amid a busy period for listings in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia has seen a burst of activity in the last few weeks and several of the IPOs have drawn many times more orders from investors than there are shares available.

Dubai has hosted two IPOs this year: the $429 million listing of the city’s public parking business Parkin Co., and the $375 million float of high-end supermarket Spinneys 1961 Holding Plc. Spinneys’ IPO is a rarity in the Gulf country — a first-time share sale by a company not backed by the government.

Founded in 2016 and indirectly majority owned by Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Alef Education serves the kindergarten to 12th grade sector. First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC and EFG Hermes are the joint global coordinators on the IPO. 

It reported revenue of 750 million dirhams ($204 million) for the year ended 2023, a 12.4% increase from 2021, and an adjusted net profit margin of 61%. The firm said it aims to adopt a semi-annual dividend distribution policy, with a minimum payout ratio of 90% of net profit for 2024 and 2025.

Parents in the UAE are among the world’s biggest spenders when it comes to educating their children. Dubai’s emergence as a post-Covid haven has drawn newcomers to the emirate, where private schools are mandatory for expatriate children.

Private school operator Taaleem Holdings, which listed in Dubai at the end of 2022, initially saw its shares fall below the offer price but they are now trading 23% higher as profit rose on higher student enrollments.

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