Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners invests $225m in three global firms

The investments mark the first since the $1bn Mubadala-backed fund was set up at Abu Dhabi Global Market in April

FG81FD View of new business district at Abu Dhabi Global Market square (ADGM) on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. Alamy

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners — the $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) fund backed by Mubadala Investment Company — has made its first investments totalling $225 million in three global firms.

The investments include $100m in Avenue Capital Group for a new global private credit strategy, $100m in a new aircraft leasing company with Sirius Aviation Capital and $25m in Freedom Asset Management to support the expansion of its wealth management product range.

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, a joint venture between Mubadala Investment Company and New York-based investment company Falcon Edge Capital, was set up at Abu Dhabi Global Market in April. Its mission is to seek attractive investment opportunities while building a sustainable presence at ADGM, the fast-growing financial centre established in 2013 that now has more than 2,200 registered entities.

Avenue Capital Group, a New York-based investment firm with more than $10bn of assets under management, and Sirius Aircraft Investments will both open offices at ADGM. Freedom Asset Management already has an office at ADGM, but the investment will help fund growth capital.

“The ability of ADGM to attract an investment firm with the heritage and pedigree of Avenue Capital Group is a testament to the work undertaken over the last six years to build a best-in-class financial hub. It should also encourage other asset managers to set up in ADGM,” said Guy Hurley, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, in a statement.

“Avenue Capital is excited to partner with Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners as we develop a new global private credit strategy from our recently launched office in ADGM,” said Marc Lasry, chief executive of Avenue Capital Group, which he co-founded in 1995.

Outside of New York, the firm currently has three offices in Europe, five in Asia and an office in Silicon Valley.

The strategic partnership between Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners and Sirius Aviation Capital will create a new company that will focus on the leasing of mid-life (eight to 12 years old), single-aisle aircraft. Sirius Aircraft Investments will be based in ADGM to leverage its proximity to the rapidly-growing aviation market in the GCC, Africa, and Central and South East Asia.

“The world’s aircraft fleet is expected to more than double over 20 years from 22,680 in 2019 to 47,680 aircraft by 2038, so we see this as an excellent time to capitalise on the growing aviation market,” said Mr Hurley. “This opportunity allows us to invest alongside Sirius Aviation Capital’s experienced team, while also diversifying ADGM’s focus across different sectors.”

Howard Millar, chief executive of Sirius Aviation Capital, said the aim is to grow the new company into a “leading midlife aircraft leaser” through the partnership, “supported by the first-class business infrastructure in Abu Dhabi”.

The third investment of $25m will help Freedom Asset Management, a wealth management firm founded in 2014 in Guernsey in the Channel Islands, expand its products and services. It set up at ADGM in March this year.