ADQ aims to grow its portfolio companies amid global expansion push

Annual profit of companies within portfolio has been growing 20 per cent yearly, top executive says

Abu Dhabi's holding company ADQ has 25 companies under its umbrella spanning sectors including energy, utilities, food and agriculture, health care, pharma, mobility and logistics. Photo: Shutterstock
Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi's investment holding company ADQ aims to boost the growth of its portfolio companies regionally and globally as part of expansion plans, a top executive has said.

ADQ has 25 companies under its umbrella spanning sectors including energy, utilities, food and agriculture, health care, pharmaceuticals, mobility and logistics.

Some of the companies in its portfolio include Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Abu Dhabi Airports, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Etihad Rail and Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.

“These companies are doing much better than they did five years ago,” Jaap Kalkman, group chief investment officer at ADQ, told Abu Dhabi Finance Week on Monday.

“We want to take them even further [in terms of growth]. How do we do that?

“We cannot grow only our business here. We have to grow internationally, we do that regionally. We do that in countries where we have privileged relations, but we do it everywhere.”

Set up in 2018, ADQ has been growing its portfolio with the addition of new companies.

Last year, Abu Dhabi Waste Management, better known as Tadweer, was added to its energy and utilities portfolio as it continues to diversify its assets.

The ownership of Tadweer was transferred to ADQ by the Abu Dhabi government after its conversion into a public joint stock company.

ADQ is also boosting investments globally. It has become an investor alongside the Bank of Montreal in the Canadian alternative asset management company Sagard.

ADQ and the bank have, respectively, entered into definitive agreements with Sagard, which has $14.5 billion of assets under management, to acquire minority equity stakes in the company, it said in July.

In 2021, it bought Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Acino to boost its portfolio in the sector.

It is also joining forces with Netherlands-based smart agriculture company Safe Haven Solutions to build a high-tech greenhouse as the UAE seeks to enhance food security. It also invested in Greek property start-up Blueground.

“We have over 70,000 employees in our ecosystem. We operate not only in Abu Dhabi, already operating in 130 countries and continue to grow internationally,” Mr Kalkman said.

The annual profit of companies within the ADQ portfolio has been growing 20 per cent every year between 2019 and 2022, with companies contributing 22 per cent to Abu Dhabi’s non-oil gross domestic product.

“We are generating billions and we are giving dividends back to the government,” Mr Kalkman said.

Updated: November 28, 2023, 5:24 AM