ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies, said on Tuesday it plans to list Abu Dhabi Ports Company on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
The listing of the company, which operates ports, industrial cities and free zones in Abu Dhabi, is expected to take place before the end of this year, subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals, ADQ said.
The initial public offering of Abu Dhabi Ports is expected to "comprise a sale of a portion of existing shares to investors in the UAE", ADQ said. It did not give dates of the proposed share sale or the portion of stake that will be sold to investors.
"With 14 listings already in 2021, ADX is an ideal choice to give investors access to a high quality, high growth potential maritime and logistics leader due to its growing liquidity and resiliency,” Mohamed Alsuwaidi, chief executive of ADQ, said.
"As part of ADQ’s portfolio since its inception in 2018, Abu Dhabi Ports has successfully consolidated and integrated ports, industrial cities and free zones, logistics, maritime and digital entities while increasing volumes and revenues ... we are confident Abu Dhabi Ports is well-positioned to continue progressing on its strategy towards becoming a global trade and commercial hub."
ADQ's move to list Abu Dhabi Ports on the ADX is the second high-profile listing announcement this week. On Monday, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's drilling subsidiary, Adnoc Drilling, said it plans to float 7.5 per cent of its shares on the Abu Dhabi bourse.
The Abu Dhabi stock exchange has seen record trading performance this year, boosting its market capitalisation beyond Dh1.4 trillion ($281bn). It is among the best-performing global bourses, with its benchmark index gaining more than 51 per cent since the beginning of this year.
Abu Dhabi Ports reported revenue of Dh3.4 billion in 2020, a 24 per cent jump from the 2019 financial year, despite pandemic-driven headwinds for global trade. Its key revenue streams were driven by strong operational performance, according to the statement.
The company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation surged 37 per cent to Dh1.5bn in 2020 as its Ebitda margins improved to 45.2 per cent in 2020, up from 40.7 per cent in 2019. The company's asset base expanded by Dh3.1bn to Dh24.8bn at the end of 2020.
"Today’s announcement marks another important step in Abu Dhabi Ports’ ongoing journey as we consolidate our leading role in the maritime and logistics sectors," Falah Al Ahbabi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, said.
Set up in 2018, ADQ has assets spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy. It portfolio companies include Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, Abu Dhabi Airports, Etihad Rail, Seha, insurer Daman, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and media companies including Abu Dhabi Media and twofour54.
Abu Dhabi Ports owns and manages 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea including Khalifa Port, Zayed Port, Musaffah Port, Fujairah Terminals, Community Ports, Kamsar Port and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. It operates more than 550 square kilometres of industrial zones within Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and ZonesCorp, the largest integrated trade, logistics, and industrial business grouping in the Middle East.
“We are committed to driving innovation and development across the global maritime and logistics industries to support the growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE," Capt Mohamed Al Shamisi, group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports, said.
"Over the past year, we have delivered on our long-term strategy focused on driving global trade through an integrated portfolio of world-class ports, industrial zones and logistics supply chains.”
In April, the company raised $1bn through the issuance of a 10-year bond that will help it in achieving "an ambitious capital expenditure programme" over the next decade.
In July Abu Dhabi Ports signed a deal with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as Taqa, to develop a 2 gigawatt green ammonia project in the UAE, as part of efforts to develop the country's hydrogen economy.