Dubai’s EFS in talks to buy cleaning firm in India

Dubai’s EFS in talks to buy cleaning firm in India


EFS Facilities Services, a Dubai-based facilities-management company, is on the verge of acquiring a cleaning company in India that will boost it in size ahead of a potential IPO.

The EFS chief executive, Tariq Chauhan, said the company was in the latter stages of negotiating the deal, which would add 26,000 staff to its existing payroll of 12,000.

Mr Chauhan said that the deal being negotiated would allow EFS to add cleaning to its current “hard services” of building-engineering management in India, moving it closer towards its goal of providing complete facilities management in-house. It currently outsources services such as cleaning and security in the country.

EFS started life as the facilities management arm of Drake & Scull, but was spun out as a separate entity when Drake & Scull floated on the Dubai Financial Market in 2006.

India is currently its third-biggest market, behind the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It operates in 22 countries, and no single territory is responsible for more than 20 per cent of its overall annual revenue of US$200 million.

The company had explored the prospect of an IPO last year, but shelved the plan as market conditions worsened. “We were engaged and we had definite plans, but at this stage, considering the market scenario, we would be waiting,” Mr Chauhan said. “But we have the necessary infrastructure. We have gone through all of the necessary guidance.”

EFS currently has 17 shareholders. Drake & Scull’s chief executive, Khaldoun Tabari, is the biggest single shareholder, but does not hold a controlling stake, according to Mr Chauhan.

He said EFS can afford to wait and consider other options, as its primary reason for listing is to raise funds for growth as opposed to shareholder exits.

It would use the proceeds to offer more services, such as security and waste management, to existing clients and target growth in African markets





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