UK’s MBH Corporation seeks to explore acquisition prospects among UAE SMEs

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

MBH Corporation (MBHCF), UK-based diversified investment holding company, listed on the Frankfurt and Dusseldorf Stock Exchanges and the OTCQX in New York, is looking to acquire extremely capable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE which are well established, profitable, and aiming to expand.

In line with its ambition, a team from MBCF led by its CEO, Mr. Callum Laing, will be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi the week beginning the 7th of March. The group is keenly looking forward to meet small business owners who are aiming to scale along with family offices and smaller funds who would like more exposure to this exciting and fast-growing asset class.

For the past 3 years, MBHCF has been building a portfolio, which now comprises 28 wholly-owned, profitable small businesses. As the world starts to open up again post the pandemic, MBH is looking to further expand its geographic footprint to include the Middle East. With 28 companies in the group covering 6 countries and 8 industry verticals, MBH is also exploring options to list in one of the UAE-based exchanges.

“Half of the developed world’s GDP comes from small businesses and yet there remains no financial instrument for sophisticated investors to get access to them,” says Mr. Laing, who in addition to believing MBH has the answer to this problem, also considers that the Middle East may represent one of the most exciting regions to facilitate this opportunity.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of most economies and yet often the cards are heavily stacked against them for various reasons. With limited access to funding and resources, many hit a glass ceiling and although a single client can double or triple the profits of a small company, they are often too illiquid for any serious investor to invest in,” Mr. Callum added.

MBHCF’s unique structure allows small businesses to join the holding company without the
founder having to give up control of the business. Investors can acquire shares in a portfolio of well-run, owner-operated, profitable small businesses.

Callum Laing
Callum Laing
CEO – MBH Corporation

“The Middle East region has a long and proud tradition of traders and small businesses. It also has a very sophisticated investor base. MBH has been approached by several investors who have suggested that we explore a cross-listing in the region so that Funds that are looking for strong ESG opportunities would be able to invest more easily into the ground-breaking work that MBH is doing.”

In over 3 years, MBHCF has attained the position of a profitable holding company growing at around 80 percent per annum. It has paid dividends every year since listing, including during the pandemic and has won multiple awards and been praised for both its diversity and strong ESG credentials. It is also considered one of the most transparent listed companies for its commitment to investor relations.

The average age of the 28 companies is more than 2 decades and combined the business owners represent more than 300 years of entrepreneurial, problem-solving wisdom. They also make up more than 60 percent of the shareholders, so are very much aligned with public shareholders to deliver the best possible results.

Mr. Laing believes that adding some companies from around the region would help not just those companies to potentially expand globally, but also encourage some of the other companies to set up offices in the UAE.

Related: UAE and Tanzania explore bilateral relations in vital areas