ADIC, UBS Global form funds venture
Abu Dhabi, February 11, 2008
Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC) and UBS Global Asset Management will form a 50/50 joint venture to develop and manage infrastructure investment funds.
The funds will be focused on the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
The joint venture’s first fund, ‘ADIC-UBS Infrastructure Fund I’, will be a $500 million fund which is expected to be launched during the first half of the year.
The fund will focus on making equity and quasi-equity investments in utilities, transport, social and energy related infrastructure projects. It is the intention to seed the fund with ADIC’s interest in the recently awarded concession for the redevelopment, expansion and operation of Queen Alia International Airport (Amman, Jordan), as well as its majority shareholding in a regional provider of district cooling services, said a statement.
Announcing the joint venture, Khalifa Al Kindi, chairman of ADIC, said: “The Mena region is going through a phase of profound expansion which has led to an increased demand for infrastructure to support continued growth and the fast growing populations. This, coupled with the fact that governments are increasingly looking towards securing private sector participation, means that there are tremendous opportunities to invest alongside major contractors and operators in world class projects which provide attractive risk adjusted returns”
“We estimate that the Mena region will witness up to $500 billion worth of investment over the next 10 years across key infrastructure sectors and, in particular, the transport and utilities sectors. The bringing together of a major regional and a major global player with excellent deal sourcing and deal execution abilities will put us in a tremendous position to take advantage of the significant investment opportunities in the regional infrastructure market.” continued Al Kindi.
John Fraser, member of the UBS Group executive board, chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management and also responsible for UBS Middle East Co-ordination, said: “We are proud to be part of a joint venture of such strategic importance to both UBS and ADIC. This initiative supports the growing high demand from global and regional investors for infrastructure investment opportunities in the Mena region.”
The Board of Directors of the joint venture will comprise three experienced individuals from each of ADIC and UBS and the investment team will be led by Mark Thompson from ADIC who is a veteran of the regional infrastructure market. –TradeArabia News Service