Pomegranate Investment


"A Swedish firm is looking to launch the first initial public offering to raise capital for investments in Iran since international sanctions on Tehran were lifted. But the precautions it takes to demonstrate that its dealings are legitimate show that the undertaking, even on this small scale, is time-consuming and costly. Although global trade sanctions against Iran were lifted in January in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear program, the United States still forbids its own nationals and firms to do business in Iran, and prohibits dealings with a list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) deemed to engage in undesirable or terrorist activity. For those reasons, Pomegranate Investment AB, set up in Sweden in 2014, is entering the Iranian market cautiously. Chief executive Florian Hellmich told Reuters on a visit to London on Monday that the firm, which has raised 80 million euros ($91 million) from European investors since 2014 in anticipation of sanctions easing, hopes to launch its IPO in Sweden within 12 months, for investments in Iran's consumer technology sector... The main challenge for any international company, however, is vetting Iranian partners to ensure they are not on the U.S. blacklist.'We have learned to operate in a sanctions environment, which means we have had to engage in a high amount of KYC ('Know Your Customer'): legal due diligence of all our partners, including the banks we do business with,' Hellmich said on a visit to London... 'We have engaged an armada of lawyers who have been advising us in terms of disclaimers and due diligence. Again it comes back to the cost of doing business. It is time-consuming,' Hellmich said." (Reuters, “Swedish firm first to seek listing for investment in Iran,” 5/16/2016)