Portland wins PRCA City and Financial Award on Baladna IPO

February 29, 2020

The Peninsula

Doha: Strategic communications agency Portland has won the PRCA 2020 ‘Best IPO’ campaign award for its support to Baladna’s IPO on the Qatar Stock Exchange.

Portland’s financial communications support on the deal was recognised from a competitive field as being the most significant and highest quality campaign. The winning of the award follows significant investment by Portland in its financial communications teams in Doha and London and is the second listing that Portland has worked on following Qatar Petroleum’s Qamco in 2018.

Portland created and implemented an integrated digital, social and traditional media campaign for the QR1.43bn Baladna IPO, representing 75 percent of the share capital of the Company. Working closely with the Baladna IPO team and lead advisers QNB Capital, the Portland team delivered a strategy aimed primarily at Qatari retail and institutional investors, with a secondary target audience of international investors in the latter phases.

Locally the campaign-built investor support through an equity story evoking Qatari pride in the Baladna brand and made use of Qatar’s extraordinarily high mobile-phone penetration. The campaign established visibility and credibility outside of Qatar by running a strong international media operation.

Portland’s office in Doha, head by General Manager Justin Kerr-Stevens, provides a range of communications support that also includes government advisory, corporate communications, disputes and global philanthropy.

The Portland award for best IPO is the first time that a project relating to Qatar has been recognised by the PRCA. The PRCA is the world’s largest PR professional body, representing in excess of 30,000 communications practitioners. Operating in 66 countries around the world, the PRCA has offices in the UK, Singapore, and Dubai, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice, and creating networking opportunities.

Moutaz Al Khayyat, Group Chairman of Baladna Q.P.S.C., commented: “I’m delighted that Baladna’s IPO has been recognised by the PRCA judges in this competitive category. Baladna was established in 2014 and in this short period of time has grown to become Qatar’s leading dairy and beverage company, and critical to the country’s food security.”

Ramez Al-Khayyat, Managing Director of Baladna Q.P.S.C., added: “The high standards in which the IPO was managed and communicated by our advisors was rewarded by the positive investors, with the offer oversubscribed. The IPO was an important milestone for the company, and we look forward to fulfilling our growth plans and rewarding our investors for placing their trust in us.”

Patrick Forbes, Partner of Portland and team leader on the transaction, commented: “It was a great pleasure to work alongside the Baladna team and QNB Capital as lead advisors on this important transaction.”

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