Economy, Business And Markets

Ghadir on Rapid Expansion

Gholamreza SoleimaniGholamreza Soleimani
Ghadir is close to securing €2.5 billion in foreign investment, mainly from Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain and Czech Republic, for its projects

Ghadir Investment Company is aggressively expanding its operations and size in capitalizing on the lifting of sanctions against Iran.

By raising capital and investing heavily in multiple industries using foreign and domestic funding, it is also on course to be listed on London Stock Exchange.

The company’s chief executive, Gholamreza Soleimani, wants to increase the company’s equity from 46 trillion rials ($1.25 billion at market exchange rate) to 71.9 trillion rials ($1.96 billion, which will mark a 56% increase.

“The capital increase will be approved on Monday’s extraordinary shareholders meeting,” the executive told the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad in an exclusive interview.

Most of the money will come from the company’s own cash reserves, while over a third of it will be raised from shareholders.

“Just over 8.75 trillion rials ($239 million) of the required funding will be raised from the shareholders. The remaining 17 trillion rials ($465 million) will be financed from Ghadir’s retained earnings, which will be distributed as stock to shareholders,” Soleimani explained.

  Investment Boom

The holding is growing its investments at a rapid pace.

According to its executive, Ghadir has $13 billion in investment projects mainly in petrochemical, mining, power generation, information and communications technology and shipping industries.

Soleimani plans to fund these investments through an amalgam of equity and debt, including foreign funding.

So far, the company has been successful in attracting foreign funding. It is close to securing €2.5 billion in foreign investment, mainly from Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain and Czech Republic, for its projects.

Last year, Ghadir signed a €500 million ($565 million) contract with the engineering unit of Finmeccanica, a spokesman for the Italian defense group said in August 2015, according to Reuters.

  London Stock Exchange

A more surprising development is Ghadir’s bid to get listed on LSE. Soleimani unveiled his plan to list Ghadir on LSE and sell a 20% stake on that market last February.

He said the listing will happen by the end of 2016.

Given the disappointing rate of reconnection with global markets due to hurdles in processing dollars, that plan might be pushed to next year.

According to Soleimani, Ghadir is to be listed on LSE’s primary board and currently going through LSE’s listing process.

The holding has adopted International Financial Reporting Standards for its books, a prerequisite for getting listed on LSE and is talking to two multinational banks to have its books reviewed.

Soleimani did not name the banks.

  Other Expansion Plans

The holding is also entering the upstream oil business and has acquired government permits to do so and is now in talks with “major Asian oil companies” to put investment deals together.

Soleimani is waiting for better days for cement prices, which have fallen due to recession in the construction sector, to make its cement investment holding public.

Ghadir focuses on construction, petrochemical and cement industries through its seven holdings and 140 subsidiaries, though it has investments in almost every Iranian industry. The Tehran-headquartered company was founded in 1991 and went public in 1996.

Today, the company is dominantly (56%) owned by pension and insurance funds of the armed forces and their affiliated companies. It also has operations in petroleum, mining, transportation, power and energy, financial and commercial activities as well as information technology.


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