Abu Dhabi oil giant builds internal ‘investment bank’ to chase $50bn in globaldeals

Abu Dhabi oil giant builds internal ‘investment bank’ to chase $50bn in globaldeals. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has amassed a nearly 50-strong team of dealmakers and is pursuing roughly $50 billion in transactions as part of a push to
diversify its business and expand abroad.

Adnoc, led since 2016 by Sultan al-Jaber, has quietly assembled a suite of Wall Street talent, according to people familiar with its inner workings, transforming the United Arab Emirates’ once sleepy state group into a business more like an energy

The investment team, run by former senior Morgan Stanley executive Klaus Froehlich, has become one of the most important units for the company’s strategy, with insiders describing it as akin to an “internal investment bank”.

Abu Dhabi oil giant builds internal ‘investment bank’ to chase $50bn in globaldeals

Adnoc’s pursuit of a bevy of multibillion-dollar acquisitions under Jaber’s strategy has out in an otherwise dismal year for dealmaking. The group is pursuing deals simultaneously with Brazilian petrochemical maker Braskem, Austria’s OMV andGerman chemical company Covestro.

“They are supercharged, with the investment team given the mandate to go out andlook at investments,” said one banker familiar with the company. “They have pivotedfrom an internally focused portfolio management mindset to one that isinternationally focused.”

The shift marks the latest step in the transformation of Adnoc from a highly profitable but staid state oil and gas producer to a company with ambitions of building a global portfolio spanning chemicals, plastics, and beyond.

Jaber’s appointment in January as president of this year’s COP28 climate summit in the UAE has sparked heavy criticism from environmental activists as well as a group of more than 130 EU and US lawmakers who called for his removal. But he has shaken up Adnoc in ways previously unimaginable among Gulf state oil companies, streamlining its workforce and monetizing its assets.

Read more at Financial Times

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