Family Businesses in the Gulf to go Public

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According to the head of family business at global bank RBS Coutts, an increasing number of family owned businesses in the Gulf are likely to go public in the nest five years. Approximately 90 percent of all companies in the Middle East are family businesses, a proportion of which are now considering IPOs as a means of growing their firms.

Before 2008 you had a number of families who went public or considered going public and then of course everything slowed down because of the economic crisis and now it is regaining interest, Denise Kenyon said.

[Over the next five years] it should increase. Definitely in the mid-term it will increase. The whole marketplace is evolving, she added.

However it was added that the IPOs will also depend on the Gulf investor market and whether there are enough individuals willing to take on responsibilities outside of their own businesses.

Family-run companies, many of which go back four generations, will also need to ensure they are ready for huge changes to the way their businesses are run.

Recent research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed that the majority of family-owned businesses have seen demand for their offerings increase in the last year, and that well over half have a positive outlook for the future.

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