Abu Dhabi’s IHC and Alpha Dhabi to jointly invest $50m in Elon Musk's SpaceX venture

International Holding Company first acquired a stake in the aerospace company in 2020 through a private equity fund

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. AP
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Abu Dhabi-listed companies International Holding Company and Alpha Dhabi will invest a combined $50 million in aerospace company SpaceX, founded by billionaire businessman Elon Musk.

IHC, which already has stake in SpaceX, will invest $25m, while Alpha Dhabi — a subsidiary of IHC — will make a debut investment of $25m in the California-based company.

“We are pleased to announce that IHC has decided to increase the investment in SpaceX through IHC West Investment — sole proprietorship [a subsidiary of the company] for a value of $25 million,” IHC said in a statement on Tuesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), where its shares are traded.

“The management is currently working on the completion of all necessary procedures subject to obtaining regulatory approvals,” it said.

Alpha Dhabi confirmed the investment in SpaceX through Alpha Dhabi Partners Holding, according to a regulatory filing with the ADX on Wednesday.

The deal remains subject to regulatory approval and is part of the company's focus on supporting innovation, it said.

IHC first acquired a stake in SpaceX in the second half of 2020 through private equity fund Falcon CI IV. The Abu Dhabi company bought a 94 per cent stake in the Cayman Island-based fund, which has invested in SpaceX.

In February last year, the aerospace company said in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had completed an equity funding round of $850m, increasing its valuation to roughly $74 billion.

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. One of the company's ultimate goals is to colonise Mars.

It is going head-to-head with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, which have both launched flights to space with their founders on board.

SpaceX also operates Starlink, a global satellite constellation service that provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet.

IHC, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi's PAL group of companies, has steadily expanded its portfolio by acquiring businesses in emerging technologies, real estate and health care among others. At the end of March it included more than 30 entities, with a portfolio of 323 subsidiaries.

It is included in the FTSE ADX 15 Index, which represents the top 15 largest and most liquid companies on the ADX.

Earlier this month, it bought a 25 per cent stake in Dubai-based trading company Invictus through one of its subsidiaries.

Last month, it completed a deal to invest Dh7.3bn ($1.94bn) in the Indian business conglomerate Adani Group, which is led by billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani.

IHC also made a number of new investments last year, including acquiring a controlling stake in Abu Dhabi-based investment company Al Qudra Holding and a 60 per cent stake in Afkar Financial and Property Investments.

In April last year, it completed a 45 per cent stake purchase in Alpha Dhabi Holding and acquired a 40 per cent stake in Response Plus Medical Services, which is a unit of VPS Healthcare, for an undisclosed sum.

Updated: June 22, 2022, 11:10 AM