Anghami set for NASDAQ listing as SPAC shareholders approve merger

Elie Habib, Chairman and co-founder of Anghami

Prominent Middle Eastern Spotify rival Anghami is one step closer to becoming a NASDAQ-listed company.

In March 2021, Anghami entered into a definitive merger agreement with Vistas Media Acquisition Company, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), with the deal intended to result in Anghami listing on the NASDAQ in New York.

The path has now been cleared for that listing, which Anghami and VMAC say will make Anghami the first Arab technology company to list on the NASDAQ in New York.

At a special meeting on January 19, 2022, VMAC’s shareholders voted to approve the proposed merger, with approximately 98% of the votes cast at the meeting in favor of the business combination.

According to a media release, the merger, which values Anghami at $220 million, “is expected to close upon satisfaction of the closing conditions”.

Following the closing of the merger, the company is expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker ANGH.

The deal is expected to be completed “promptly following the special meeting of stockholders, according to a Form F-4 to filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in October, “provided that all other conditions to the consummation of the Business Combination have been satisfied or waived.

Anghami is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and is currently backed by MENA venture capital firms and strategic shareholders, including media groups and telco companies that collectively own approximately 68% of Anghami, with the balance owned by the founders.

Anghami also has offices in Beirut (where it was previously headquartered), Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh.

Founded in 2012, Anghami claims to be the first music-streaming platform in the MENA region and now has 70 million registered users with around 1 billion streams per month.

The service offers a catalog of over 57m songs.

Anghami has long standing partnerships with all three major labels including, Universal Music GroupSony Music and Warner Music Group.

In addition, Anghami has established direct partnerships with 36 teleco companies across the MENA region to boost free user acquisitions and facilitate subscriptions achieving hat it claims is “the highest paying conversion rate in emerging markets”.

The company’s international head of partnerships is LA-based music industry entrepreneur and manager, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, the CEO of XO Records (the label which he co-founded with The Weeknd whom he also manages) and of SALXCO, his management firm.

Anghami says that Slaiby has been instrumental in formulating global partnerships.

Arab News reports that VMAC shares rose more than 20% in premarket trading on Friday (January 21).

In October, Anghami struck a partnership with popular mobile game PUBG MOBILE (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds).

In December, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East (SME) launched a joint venture record label with Anghami.Music Business Worldwide

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