Abu Dhabi said to consider selling $4 billion Taqa stake

Manuel Baigorri and Dinesh Nair April 21, 2021
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(Bloomberg) - Abu Dhabi is weighing the sale of a stake in its biggest utility as the oil-rich emirate seeks more international investment in its marquee assets, people familiar with the matter said.

The government is working with an adviser as it considers selling about 10% of Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The stake in the company, known as Taqa, could be worth more than $4 billion based on its current market price.

Shares of Taqa were up 1.5% to 1.39 dirhams at 2:35 p.m. in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, giving it a market value of about $43 billion. The sale could attract interest from large global utility companies and other financial investors, the people said. Initial non-binding bids are expected to be submitted in May, according to the people.

Investors may be attracted to Taqa’s plans to cut exposure to oil and natural gas assets and focus on renewables. The company wants to boost the portion of its power produced from solar and wind to 30% over the next decade. Taqa already owns one of the world’s biggest solar plants in Abu Dhabi and is in the process of building an even larger one.

The size of the Taqa stake being sold could change depending on investor interest, the people said. Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, according to the people.

A representative for Taqa declined to comment.

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