RIYADH (Agencies): Nahdi Medical Co., Saudi Arabia’s largest pharmacy group, is planning to extend its services into a full range of primary care offerings, including giving access to pharmacists online as the company prepares to list on the Saudi bourse.
Nahdi, which has around 1,150 stores throughout the Kingdom, recently launched an e-pharmacist service, which allows its customers to speak with a pharmacist through its app.
“We are the closest to people,” CEO Yasser Joharji said in an interview with Arab News. “We understand them. We have the digital capability. So, we want to establish a primary healthcare ecosystem, empowered by technology and data to provide our guests with the service they need where they are, at any time they want.”
He describes the approach as “omni-health,” a reflection of its ambition to provide its services via any channel its customers demand.
“We don’t separate the different parts of our business,” said Joharji, referring to its bricks and mortar and online offerings. “For you as a patient, they’re all one and the same.”
Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority, known as CMA, approved the share offering of Nahdi Medical on December 29, giving it 6 months to go to market.
Jeddah-based Nahdi will offer as many as 39 million shares – a 30-percent stake – in an initial public offering.
Nahdi was founded by Abdullah Amer Al Nahdi in 1986 and is 50 percent owned by Jeddah-based Islamic investment firm Sedco Holding, according to information on its website.
The company’s value is not discolsed and it’s yet to be known once it goes public.
Its pharmacy network stretches across 145 cities and villages across the Kingdom, and it recently expanded into the UAE.
“This will be a very important market for us, said Yasser when referring to the UAE. Other markets will be considered “when the time comes”, he said.
“We are relentlessly searching around the world to bring the latest in technology, products, health and wellness services,” said Joharji. “We have evolved from a simple pharmacy into an integrated, omnichannel, multi-touchpoint business. You can get your service through your pharmacy next door to you but you can equally get our service through our application and our product can be delivered to your doorstep.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s digital security firm Elm Co. plans to collect up to SR2.98 billion ($816 million) from its initial public offering, according to a bourse statement.
The Riyadh-based company, which is fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has set its final offer price per share at SR128 ($34), the top end of the proposed range. This followed the completion of the book-building process by Riyad Capital, the financial advisor of the offer.
For retail investors, the subscription period is scheduled for Feb. 3 and will run until Feb. 6, with 7.2 million shares offered.
It plans to float 24 million shares or 30 percent of the company’s SR800 million capital on the Saudi exchange Tadawul.
Elm provides secure e-business services and information technology solutions to private and public sector businesses in the Kingdom.
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