Abu Dhabi oil firm picks up adviser

20 July 2017

The US-based bank will advise on investment and IPO strategy

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-controlled oil and gas giant has hired US-based investment bank Moelis & Co to advise on attracting investment into the firm through joint ventures and prepare some of its subsidiaries for public floats.

The Abu Dhabi government-owned firm, which accounts for the bulk of oil and gas production in the UAE, has mandated Moelis to create and expand partnerships and co-investment opportunities in the company, according to news agency Reuters, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Moelis will also oversee the broader company strategy that could include publicly listing shares of some units.

Adnoc said on 10 July that it will open up some of its assets to partnerships with international companies and it is considering plans for selling minority stakes in some of its service businesses, a move aimed at supporting the expansion of private sector participation in its operations.

Adnoc’s service stations unit, is among subsidiaries being considered for an initial public offering (IPO) and the firm expects the fuel distribution business to be valued as high as $14bn.

Adnoc is expected to shortly appoint investment banks for the public float, which likely is likely to take place on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). Reports suggest that the US-based Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, local First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), and the UK’s HSBC are among the lenders pitching for a role on the deal, while Rothschild has already been picked as adviser for the flotation.

New York-based Moelis, is already well entrenched in the Middle East and has been involved in high-profile $25bn debt restructuring of Dubai World. It is currently advising Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil exporter on its plans for a minority stake sale to public, which is billed to biggest-ever in the world.

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