SAUDI ARABIA – 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, Arab News has reported.

Nahdi, which has approximately 1,150 stores across the Kingdom, recently launched an e-pharmacist service that allows customers to communicate with a pharmacist via its app.

“We are the closest to people,” CEO Yasser Joharji said in an interview. “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 refers to the approach as “omni-health,” which reflects the company’s desire to provide services through any channel its customers require.

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.”

On December 29, Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority, approved Nahdi Medical’s share offering, giving it six months to go public.

Nahdi, based in Jeddah, will offer up to 39 million shares – a 30% stake – in an initial public offering.

Nahdi was founded in 1986 by Abdullah Amer Al Nahdi and is 50 percent owned by Jeddah-based Islamic investment firm Sedco Holding.

The company’s worth has not been determined, and it will be known once it goes public.

Its pharmacy network spans 145 cities and villages throughout the Kingdom, and it has 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 added.

Meanwhile, according to a bourse statement, Saudi Arabia’s digital security firm Elm Co. expects to earn up to SR2.98 billion (US$816 million) from its initial public offering.

The Riyadh-based firm, which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, has set the final offer price per share at SR128 (US$34), the upper end of the proposed range. This came after Riyad Capital, the offer’s financial advisor, completed the book-building process.

The subscription period for retail investors begins on February 3 and ends on February 6, with 7.2 million shares available.

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