Adnoc buys 25% stake in Austrian energy company OMV

The state-owned energy company will also increase its shareholding in Borealis

An oil pipeline control head sits on display outside the entrance to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Adnoc is seeking to create world’s largest integrated refinery and petrochemical complex at Ruwais. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
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Adnoc is acquiring a 24.9 per cent stake in Austrian energy company OMV from Mubadala Investment Company, it said on Wednesday.

The financial terms were not disclosed.

Through this investment in OMV, which holds a 75 per cent stake in Austrian plastics maker Borealis, Adnoc will increase its stakes in both Borealis and Borouge.

“As we continue to meet the growing global demand for lower carbon energy, we are fast-tracking the delivery of our growth strategy and expanding our footprint across key strategic markets and sectors,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Adnoc managing director and group chief executive.

“This milestone transaction, alongside our 25 per cent shareholding in Borealis, is testament to our focused investment in building an integrated chemicals platform to accelerate our ambitious growth strategy that will unlock significant growth opportunities across our broader chemicals portfolio, with a particular focus on creating distinctive value for Borouge and its shareholders.”

Borouge's revenue in the first nine months of 2022 rose by about 14 per cent from the same period a year earlier on higher sales volumes of a key petrochemical.

The company's $2 billion listing in June was the biggest share sale on the Abu Dhabi securities exchange (ADX). The IPO, which was about 42 times oversubscribed, was the largest in the emirate since Adnoc Drilling’s $1.1 billion offering.

After its listing, Borouge was included in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series, which is used by investors globally to guide asset-allocation decisions and support portfolio construction.

OMV, which reported a revenue of €36 billion ($38.27 billion) in 2021, is among Europe's largest energy companies and is currently looking to diversify its gas supplies amid falling Russian exports of the commodity.

In October, the Austrian company signed a preliminary agreement with Adnoc, with the aim of purchasing a liquefied natural gas cargo for next year’s winter.

“This transaction is reflective of our strategy to monetise assets at the right valuation and at the right time," said Khaldoon Al Mubarak, managing director and group chief executive of Mubadala.

“2022 has been a year of increased activity and strategic investment across Mubadala, in sectors and geographies all over the world. We will continue to partner with best-in-class entities as we diversify our investment base and expand our growth trajectory.”

The International Energy Agency has warned that 2023 may present a “sterner test” for EU countries as Russian gas exports dwindle and Chinese demand for LNG rises.

The EU could fall short by about 27 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas next year if Russian gas deliveries drop to zero and China’s LNG imports rebound to 2021 levels, the agency said in a report this month.

“Even if the Russian supplies should stop, we can supply 100 per cent of our customers in Austria with non-Russian gas … we are already looking to next winter,” Alfred Stern, chief executive of OMV, told The National in October.

OMV, which has a long-term LNG contract with Qatar, is “also looking at the US and other sources of supply”, said Mr Stern.

The company produces and markets fuels as well as feedstock for the chemical industry, and operates three refineries in Europe. OMV operates around 1,800 filling stations in ten European countries.

Borealis, which is majority owned by OMV, reported a net profit of about €1.4 billion on a revenue of €10.2 billion in 2021.

Last month, Adnoc approved Dh550 billion ($150 billion) budget for the next five years as the company prepares to set up its gas subsidiary and list its shares on the ADX next year.

The company's board also endorsed plans to bring forward Adnoc’s five million barrels per day oil production capacity expansion to 2027, from the previous target of 2030, as part of an accelerated growth strategy.

Updated: December 21, 2022, 11:15 AM