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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Mubadala-owned Cepsa plans Spain IPO in the fourth quarter of 2018

The company plans to float 25% of its shares subject to market conditions 

A Cepsa refinery and petro-chemical compound is illuminated at night, in San Roque, Spain. The company plans to float 25% of its shares on Spanish stock exchange. Bloomberg
A Cepsa refinery and petro-chemical compound is illuminated at night, in San Roque, Spain. The company plans to float 25% of its shares on Spanish stock exchange. Bloomberg

Cepsa, an integrated energy company fully owned by Abu Dhabi’s strategic firm Mubadala Investment Company, plans to float 25 per cent of its capital on Spanish stock exchanges through what could be the biggest oil company initial public offering in the past decade.

“Today’s intention to float is a result of the strong foundations the business has built to become a well-established, integrated energy company and a global leader in a number of important product markets,” Musabbeh Al Kaabi the chief executive of Mubadala’s Petroleum and Petrochemicals platform said in a statement on Monday. “We are committed to delivering the IPO with a listing on the Spanish exchanges as a natural and strategic fit for Cepsa that will provide wider access to capital markets to support financial flexibility.”

Cepsa operates across the entire oil and gas value chain. The minimum free float of shares after the listing is expected to be at least 25 per cent. The IPO is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to market conditions, the company said. In March The National was first to report that Mubadala was seeking more stakeholders for Cepsa and exploring options to list the company in Spain this year.

Mubadala’s public offer in Cepsa will see the Spanish energy firm trade on Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia Stock exchanges. Banco Santander, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are the joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on the deal.

Barclays BNP Paribas, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Societe Generale and UBS are the additional joint bookrunners, while Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and CaixaBank are the co-lead managers. Rothschild is acting as financial advisor to the company and the selling shareholder, according to the regulatory filing.

Cepsa was originally an investment of Ipic, which became part of Mubadala in a merger in 2017. Abu Dhabi has built its stake in Cepsa for years and bought shares held by France’s Total in 2011.

Mubadala has considered several options for Cepsa including the sale of a stake to strategic shareholders but chose an IPO. The Cepsa float could raise about €3bn, valuing the company at about €10bn, according to Bloomberg.

Mubadala invests globally and has assets in excess of $200bn, spanning 13 sectors and 30 countries. The company is central to Abu Dhabi’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil and further strengthen its portfolio of local and international investments.

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Mubadala has been investing in 90-year old Cepsa since 1988. Monetising the Cepsa stake through an IPO, the first such international deal for a Mubadala unit, will give Abu Dhabi firm more firepower for future acquisitions.

Madrid-headquartered Cepsa, which has more recently entered the renewable energy market, balances Mubadala’s gas-leaning portfolio, with its exposure to oil assets in South America, South East Asia and Kenya, as well as a significant portfolio of chemical assets, notably linear alkyl benzene (LAB) - which finds uses in the detergent industry.

In May, Cepsa signed an agreement with state-controlled Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to set up a 150,000 tonne per annum chemicals project. The move is part of a broader expansion of Adnoc’s integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in the capital’s western region of Ruwais.

The Spanish firm in February won a 20 per cent stake worth $1.5bn in the twin concessions of Umm Lulu and SARB, which lie offshore the territorial waters of Abu Dhabi.

Cepsa’s recent successes offshore and onshore in the UAE had made it “very attractive for many investors,” Mr Al Kaabi said in March.