Mubadala confirms discussions with OMV to sell potential stake in Borealis

The Abu Dhabi investor currently owns 25 per cent of OMV and 64 per cent of Borealis

The logo of Austrian oil and gas group OMV is seen at a gas station in Vienna, Austria, October 30, 2018. Picture taken October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
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Mubadala confirmed it is in discussions to sell a potential $4.68 billion (Dh17.18bn) stake in Austria's Borealis to the European energy company OMV.

"Mubadala can confirm the nature of the discussions with OMV. These discussions are consistent with our strategy of actively managing and diversifying our portfolio," a spokesman for Mubadala's petroleum and petrochemicals division told The National in a statement.

Mubadala intends to sell a 39 per cent stake to OMV reducing its stake in petrochemicals player Borealis to 25 per cent, the Austrian upstream player said in a statement late Friday.

Mubadala currently owns 25 per cent of OMV and 64 per cent of Borealis, which is in a 50:50 joint venture with Adnoc through Borouge, the country's largest petrochemicals company.

“The potential transaction would expand the value chain of OMV in the petrochemical sector and would allow OMV to fully consolidate the results,” OMV said on Friday.

Borealis, through Borouge, is undertaking two large-scale projects in Abu Dhabi's western region of Ruwais, including the development of the world's largest mixed-feed cracker and a fifth polypropylene unit. The planned expansion will see Borouge produce polyolefin products such as polyethylene and polypropylene as well as non-polyolefin products such as benzene and butadiene. The compounds are used in packaging, plastics and acrylics industries.

The acquisition of a majority stake in Borealis will help OMV, which also operates an upstream concession offshore Abu Dhabi, to produce higher-value products.

Meanwhile, Mubadala's petroleum and petrochemicals division — which has invested in assets such as Spain's Cepsa, Canada's Nova Chemicals as well as Russia's Gazprom Neft — is looking to expand its base in the gas segment of the hydrocarbons value chain.

Mubadala last year reached an agreement with US firm NextDecade Corporation to invest $50m in the US company's upcoming Rio Grande liquefied natural gas facility.

It also completed a deal to sell 37 per cent of Cepsa to US-based Carlyle Group.