Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 January 2020

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala sells more than half of its stake in UniCredit

Stake sold is valued at about €850 million based on the Italian lender's closing share price on Tuesday

Mubadala has sold more than half of its shareholding in Italian lender UniCredit. Reuters 
Mubadala has sold more than half of its shareholding in Italian lender UniCredit. Reuters 

Mubadala Investment Company sold more than half of its stake in Italian lender UniCredit as Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm continues to the monetise mature assets.

The company’s shareholding in UniCredit has declined to 2.02 per cent as of December 20, down from its previous stake of 4.99 per cent in June, Bloomberg cited Italian market regulator Consob as saying in a statement.

The value of Mubadala’s stake sale is about €850 million (Dh3.47bn), based on UniCredit’s closing price on Tuesday. UniCredit’s main remaining investors are investment manager BlackRock and fund manager Dodge & Cox with slightly more than 5 per cent stake each, according to Consob's website.

Mubadala bought the UniCredit stake in 2010 as part of the strategy to help the emirate diversify its portfolio of investments and steer its economy away from oil and gas.

Mubadala, which manages more than Dh840 billion in assets, invests on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and its international investments include stakes in companies such as General Electric, private equity firm Carlyle Group, Austria’s oil and gas entity OMV, and petrochemicals manufacturers Borealis and Nova Chemicals.

The company is repositioning its portfolio as it sells off mature assets and pivots to technology sectors as the investment firm prepares for a tougher operating environment amid rising global economic uncertainty, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, managing director and group chief executive of Mubadala, said at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh in October.

“We are monetising assets that we feel have reached the stage of maturity and returns … it’s a good market right now but we are also shifting to new areas of life sciences, biotech, agri [technologies]," Mr Al Mubarak told delegates at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh. “And again, from these sectors, we are also preparing for a correction that’s going to come …. I don’t know when that’s going to come [though].”

In October last year, the company also completed a deal to sell a significant minority interest in its fully-owned Spanish oil and gas company Compania Espanola de Petroleos (Cepsa) to Carlyle Group in the US. Mubadala remains the majority shareholder of Cepsa with a 63 per cent stake, while funds affiliated with Carlyle will have a 37 per cent stake, the company said at the time.

Mubadala is a cornerstone investor in SoftBank Group’s $100bn (Dh367.25bn) Vision Fund, with a $15bn commitment. The company also has $600 million worth of funds targeting technology investments in the US, a $400 million fund to invest in European tech companies and in October last year announced $250m worth of Mena tech funds.

Updated: January 8, 2020 06:42 PM

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