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ADNOC signs $20Bn energy assets deal with consortium

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) said it has entered into an agreement with some of the world’s leading infrastructure investors and operators, sovereign wealth and pension funds.

A consortium of investors comprising Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP); Brookfield Asset Management, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC; Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Ontario Teachers; NH Investment & Securities and Snam, the Consortium; will invest in select Adnoc gas pipeline assets valued at $20.7 billion.

In one of the largest global energy infrastructure transactions, the consortium will collectively acquire a 49 per cent stake in Adnoc Gas Pipeline Assets, a newly formed subsidiary of Adnoc with lease rights to 38 pipelines covering a total of 982.3 km, while Adnoc will be holding a 51 per cent majority stake.

The innovative transaction structure allows Adnoc to tap new pools of global institutional investment capital, whilst maintaining full operating control over the assets included as part of the investment, said the statement from Adnoc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Adnoc will lease its ownership interest in the assets to Adnoc Gas Pipelines for 20 years in return for a volume-based tariff subject to a floor and a cap.

The transaction will result in upfront proceeds of over $10 billion to Adnoc and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, it stated.

The gas pipeline network connects Adnoc’s upstream assets to local UAE off-takers. Ownership of the pipelines, management of pipeline operations, and all responsibility for associated operational and capital expenditures will remain with Adnoc.

For Adnoc’s partners, this transaction represents a unique opportunity to invest in quality energy infrastructure assets with a low-risk profile that generate stable cash flows, said the statement.

This agreement is the largest transaction since Adnoc announced the expansion of its partnership and investment model in 2017, which aims to unlock value for Adnoc, it added.

On the deal, Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO, said: "This milestone transaction demonstrates the trust and confidence placed in Adnoc by the global investment community and unlocks significant value from our pipeline portfolio, following last year’s groundbreaking oil pipeline infrastructure investment partnership."

"Today’s landmark investment signals continued strong interest in Adnoc’s low-risk, income-generating assets, and sets another benchmark for large-scale energy infrastructure investments in the UAE and the wider region," remarked Al Jaber.

"It solidifies Adnoc’s position as an attractive partner and reinforces the UAE’s track record as the region’s go-to foreign direct investment destination, even during the current unprecedented circumstances," he added.

Expressing delight at the deal, GIP Chairman Adebayo Ogunlesi said: "Adnoc’s gas network is a core piece of midstream infrastructure in the UAE and this transaction presents a unique opportunity to invest in an asset of this quality and importance, while also supporting Adnoc in their smart growth strategy."

"This transaction underscores GIP’s strategy of investing in high quality infrastructure assets and developing long term strategic partnerships with industry leaders," he noted.

Brookfield Asset Management CEO Bruce Flatt said: "We are pleased to invest in this strategic pipeline system, which serves as the critical link between UAE low-cost natural gas supply and robust in-country demand."

"This transaction aligns with our strategy of investing in high quality, essential assets generating stable and predictable cash flows in a sector we know well. Adnoc has established itself as one of the world’s leading natural gas producers, with an exemplary operational record. We look forward to partnering with them in support of this critical asset and sector," noted Flatt.

Ontario Teachers’ CIO Ziad Hindo said: "This strategic transaction is attractive to Ontario Teachers’ as it provides us with a stake in a high-quality infrastructure asset with stable long-term cash flows, which will help us deliver on our pension promise."

"This new partnership with Adnoc and a group of world-class institutional and infrastructure investors expands our global presence and provides further geographic diversification to our portfolio," he added.

NH Investment & Securities Chairman and CEO Young-Chae Jeong said: "Investing into Adnoc’s gas infrastructure and supporting Abu Dhabi's energy initiatives reinforces our investment diversification strategy and demonstrates Korea's growing presence in the global infrastructure space."

"I am confident this milestone transaction can become a stepping-stone to broaden Korean investments in the region," he noted.

Snam CEO Marco Alverà said: "With this strategic transaction, we strengthen our international footprint by entering a country and a region that are key to our sector. Our aim is to promote further cooperation opportunities, particularly in the energy transition."

"We will work with Adnoc and the consortium partners by leveraging our industrial skills, know-how and innovative solutions in natural gas infrastructure management and provide our contribution to the UAE’s energy system," observed Alvera.

"This transaction was carried out remotely over the past months, testifying the resilience of our company and its willingness to continue its growth path," he added.
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