Anghami could be delisted from the Nasdaq this week (or in the very near future)

Anghami's Elie Habib, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer and Eddy Maroun, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer ring the NASDAQ’s opening bell for the firm's flotation last year

It’s looking increasingly certain that MENA-focused music streaming service Anghami could be delisted from The Nasdaq Global Market – as early as later this week.

On October 24, 2023, Anghami received a determination letter from the Nasdaq stating that it was not in compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(b)(2)(A), which requires companies to maintain a minimum market value of listed securities of $50 million for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market.

Anghami’s receipt of this ‘delist determination letter’ was revealed by the company in an SEC filing on Monday (October 30).

According to Anghami, the letter stated that unless the company requests a hearing before a Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel, trading in the company’s stock on The Nasdaq Global Market will be suspended at the opening of business on November 2, 2023. That’s Thursday this week.

The company had until today (October 31) to request a hearing.

The development arrived just 18 months after Anghami listed on the Nasdaq (in February 2022) after completing a SPAC merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company (VMAC) that valued Anghami at $220 million.

At the time of writing, Anghami’s market cap value is $20.91 million dollars – around a tenth of its value just 18 months ago (see below).

Anghami said in its SEC filing yesterday that its “continued listing on Nasdaq remains a key priority” and that, “accordingly, the company intends to request in a timely manner a hearing before the Panel, at which it will seek continued listing pending its return to compliance with the listing requirements on either The Nasdaq Global Market or The Nasdaq Capital Market”.

The filing added that Anghami’s hearing request “will stay the suspension of trading and delisting of the company’s ordinary shares pending the conclusion of the hearing process” and that “consequently, the company’s ordinary shares will remain listed on The Nasdaq Global Market at least until the Panel renders a decision following the hearing”.

An alternative option explained within Monday’s announcement is that “in the event that the Panel determines” that Anghami’s “continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market is not warranted,” the music streaming company may then “seek to transfer the listing of its ordinary shares to The Nasdaq Capital Market”.

As explained here, the Nasdaq Stock Market has three distinctive tiers, including The Nasdaq Global Select Market, The Nasdaq Global Market (on which Anghami is currently listed) and The Nasdaq Capital Market.

“There can be no assurance that the panel will grant the company’s request for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market or a transfer of its listing to The Nasdaq Capital Market.

Anghami, in statement issued via the SEC on Monday

According to Nasdaq, “The initial financial and liquidity requirements for the Nasdaq Global Select Market are more stringent than those for the Nasdaq Global Market and likewise, the initial listing requirements for the Nasdaq Global Market are more stringent than those for the Nasdaq Capital Market”.

Angahmi stressed in Monday’s filing that “there can be no assurance that the panel will grant the company’s request for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market or a transfer of its listing to The Nasdaq Capital Market“.

This latest hurdle in Anghami’s 18-month stock market journey arrives just two weeks after the Abu Dhabi-headquartered company received a warning from the Nasdaq that it was in violation of another Nasdaq listing rule because its stock price was too low.

According to Nasdaq Rule 5450(a)(1), businesses must maintain a minimum share price of USD $1.

If the price falls below that level for 30 consecutive days, the exchange can launch a review of the listed company that can result in delisting.

Under those rules, following the notification, Anghami was given 180 days to regain compliance.

If its share price closes above $1 for 10 consecutive days during that period, the Nasdaq will consider the matter closed, Anghami said in its filing to the SEC on October 12.

At the time of writing, Anghami’s shares are trading at $0.85.

Middle East and North Africa Focused Anghami is a specialist in Arabic content, claiming to be the first music-streaming platform in the MENA region.

Launched in 2012, Anghami has 120 million registered users and – as of the time of the company’s full-year 2022 report – 1.52 million paying subscribers.

In its 2022 earnings release in May, the company reported a 35.6% YoY increase in revenue, to a total of $48.1 million. Total paying subscribers grew by 21% YoY.

In August Anghami received a $5 million investment from SRMG Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG), which calls itself the “largest integrated media group in MENA.”Music Business Worldwide

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