Mubadala invests record amount in 2020, eyes aluminium IPO: CEO - GulfToday

Mubadala invests record amount in 2020, eyes aluminium IPO: CEO


Mubadala CEO says that Emirates Global Aluminium is well-placed for an initial public offering. WAM

Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala invested a record amount in 2020 as it doubled down on growth sectors, and is close to making a decision on the listing of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), said Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala on Monday.

“We’ve invested more in 2020 than we have ever done in any one year prior to that,” Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak told a virtual event organised by Bahrain’s Investcorp.

Mubarak did not disclose the figure.

He said Emirates Global Aluminium, which is owned by Mubadala and Investment Corp of Dubai, is well placed for an initial public offering.

“This company is now a very mature business, a very well-placed business for growth. It’s cost base is in the lowest’s a great business,” he said.

A plan to list EGA was delayed in 2018. Mubarak said Mubadala paused for 6-8 weeks in March 2020, using the time to understand the ramifications of the pandemic. “We supercharged our monetisation when it came to the sectors in the headwinds and we kept investing in the sectors in the tailwinds, building new partnerships and really focusing on life sciences, as an example, technology, mobility, digital infrastructure,” he said.

Mubadala, which manages $232 billion, invested $853 million in the retail division of India’s Reliance Industries in October after paying $1.2 billion for a 1.85% stake in Reliance’s digital unit, Jio Platform in June.

“We have invested more in India in 2020 than the previous 19 years combined, that gives you an indication of how serious we are about investing in India,” Mubarak said, noting Mudabala had been underweight in terms of its exposure to the country in the past.

He confirmed Mubadala’s team is looking at the pipelines business of Saudi Aramco but had yet to decide whether to invest, nor had it taken a view on the listing of Santa Clara-based semi-conductor producer Globalfoundries.

Mubarak said future risks include inflation, another pandemic, the trade rift between the United States and China, as well as a global correction and economic slowdown.

Mubadala Investment Company announced recently that it will invest in Rodenstock Group, the leading manufacturer of premium ophthalmic lenses, as a minority investor alongside Funds advised by Apax (Apax Funds). Founded in 1877, Rodenstock has been a global leader in prescription lenses for over 140 years, with a strong track record of innovative product development and market leading technologies.

Separately, Mubadala Investment Company has invested $75 million in 5-year pre-IPO convertible bonds of Telegram, an operator of the self-named security-focused social media platform, with Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners investing a further $75 million. The strategic partnership between the companies is also expected to create new collaboration opportunities and thereby further advance Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem of innovative and tech-enabled companies.

Mubadala and Italy’s Snam, one of the world’s leading energy infrastructure operators, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on joint investment and development initiatives on hydrogen.

As part of the agreement, the two companies will carry out a number of assessment activities, including technical and economic feasibility studies to explore potential projects and solutions to foster and promote hydrogen development in the UAE, and elsewhere globally.

Snam was Europe’s first company to test the injection of a blend of hydrogen and natural gas in its network, and it is committed to get its infrastructure ready to transport increasing volumes of hydrogen. The company also set up a business unit fully dedicated to the scouting for new technologies as well as developing new projects by teaming up with other partners to adopt hydrogen in several industries such as railways and steel. Last year, Mubadala joined the Investor Group of the Hydrogen Council, demonstrating the company’s growing commitment to the emerging sector.

Mubadala also recently formed the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance, alongside ADNOC and ADQ, to build a substantial hydrogen economy for the UAE, and developing a roadmap to accelerate the country’s adoption and use of hydrogen in major sectors such as utilities, mobility and industry.

In recent years, Mubadala has been expanding its focus on the technology sector through a strategy of direct and fund-of-fund investing from early-stage venture capital to growth. Over the past 12 months, it has made a number of global technology investments in category leaders including the autonomous driving technology company Waymo, AliExpress and Jio Platforms, to name just a few.

Mubadala invests and partners to advance Abu Dhabi’s diversified, globally integrated economy across sectors that are driving global growth and addressing critical challenges. A significant aspect of this mandate is transformative information and communications technology investments which include cognitive computing, ICT infrastructure, telecoms, and satellite operations. To further its commitment to innovation and technology, Mubadala established its Ventures arm in 2017 to partner early with visionary founders and support innovative businesses. Mubadala’s Ventures business currently manages a number of venture funds in the US, Europe and Middle East. Today, Mubadala’s portfolio spans advanced manufacturing, semiconductors, metals & mining, pharmaceutical and medical technology, renewable energy and utilities, and the management of diverse financial holdings.


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