Authorities in Dubai are said to be considering an initial public offering (IPO) for Emirates Airline as part of ambitious capital-raising plans, according to a report in the UK’s The Telegraph newspaper.
Speaking to the newspaper, Investment Corporation of Dubai CEO Mohammed Al Shaibani said that state-controlled companies in the emirate could potentially float on the London Stock Exchange.
“We have a lot of entities here [in Dubai] that can also go public and that should be a fantastic way to raise capital if we need it,” he said.
Al Shaibani reportedly said that Emirates, along with Dubai Airports, budget carrier flyDubai and aluminium smelter EMAL were among those entities that could be sold at some point to raise funds.
“We also have the option of secondary issues [including the London Stock Exchange],” Shaibani added.
Emirates is aiming to carry 70m passengers by 2020, while its current annual revenues exceed $21bn. It is one of the largest airlines in the world by passenger traffic, with a fleet that will eventually reach 250 aircraft.
Shaibani indicated that it was unlikely that the airline would float in the near future, however, as there was still value to be created in the meantime.
“We are dead serious. I cannot list it [Emirates] now because there is still value to be created there. We don’t want to give away value just like that,” he continued.
“Ideally we would like to list here but we also have the option of a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange, which is very strategic for us because we are the largest shareholders.”
Emirates Airline did not immediately respond to Arabian Business’s request for clarification on the story.