Anghami to Arrive on NASDAQ Following Acquisition-Company Merger

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About two months after receiving a major investment from Dubai-based Shuaa Capital, Anghami, the most popular music streaming service in North Africa and the Middle East, has revealed plans to debut on NASDAQ.

Anghami higher-ups announced their company’s quick-approaching stock-market arrival this morning, in a formal release that was emailed to Digital Music News. The nine-year-old streaming platform “will become the first Arab technology company” to list shares on NASDAQ, per the announcement message, after merging with the Vistas Media Acquisition Company (traded as VMAC).

Vistas Media, for its part, raised $100 million upon debuting on NASDAQ in August of 2020. The involved parties expect the Anghami merger to close sometime in 2021’s second quarter; the resulting entity will operate as Anghami, and the VMAC stock symbol will become “ANGH.”

As an aside, Anghami’s founders currently have a 32 percent stake in their company, while the remaining 68 percent belongs to “leading MENA venture capital firms and strategic shareholders, including media groups and telecommunications companies.”

Finally, in terms of the Anghami stock-market arrival’s nuances, the transaction implies a pro-forma enterprise value of $220 million, “or 2.5x 2022 estimated revenues,” and the aforementioned Shuaa Capital has fronted $30 million in PIPE financing, against $10 million from Vistas Media. Anghami intends to have about $142 million in free cash on hand when the deal closes and will use the funds “primarily to fuel additional growth.”

On this front, Abu Dhabi-headquartered Anghami, which also has offices in Beirut, Cairo, Dubai, and Riyadh, notes that its library encompasses north of 57 million songs, while the platform boasts over 70 million registered users.

XO Records CEO (and The Weeknd manager) Wassim “Sal” Slaiby serves as Anghami’s international head of partnerships and has proven “instrumental,” per the release.

More than a few music industry companies are moving to bolster their presence in the quick-moving African and Middle Eastern music space. Universal Music Group established Def Jam Africa last May and kicked off 2021 by making three executive appointments across its African divisions, whereas Sony Music in early January expanded its presence in Africa by striking an Ivory Coast-focused partnership.

Most notably, however, February saw Warner Music Group confirm its (reportedly $200 million) investment in Rotana Music, the largest indie record label in the Arab world and a division of billionaire Saudi businessman Al-Waleed bin Talal’s Rotana Group.

And in a testament to their ambitious plans for the post-pandemic concert space, Saudi Arabian government officials acquired a $500 million stake in Live Nation back in April of 2020. Live Nation’s per-share stock price has shot up in the interim, as many investors are banking on a 2021 live-music comeback, and Saudi Arabia’s LYV shares are now worth in excess of $1 billion as a result.