Taqa completes deal with ADPower to create one of the largest utility companies in the region

Jasim Husain Thabet is the new chief executive and managing director of Taqa

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) completed its transaction with Abu Dhabi Power Corporation to create one of the largest utility companies in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region with total assets worth about Dh200 billion.

As part of the deal, ADPower transferred the majority of its power and water generation, transmission and distribution assets to Taqa in exchange for more than 106.3 billion new shares, the company said on Wednesday.

Following the deal, Moody's upgraded Taqa's issuer rating to Aa3 from A3 and its short term rating to P-1 from P-2. The ratings agency said that the new assets have a "significant positive impact on Taqa's business and financial profiles".

Taqa is also intending "to seek an increase to the free float through a follow-on public offering".

“The successful consolidation of Abu Dhabi’s power and water assets has created a true national energy champion that is well-positioned to spearhead the transformation of the utilities industry,”  Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, chairman of Taqa, said in a statement.

“Taqa’s strong balance sheet, predictable income, access to global capital markets and deep industry expertise enables it to play an active role in the UAE’s diversification strategy, putting a strong emphasis on clean sources.”

Taqa currently has 23 gigawatts of power generation capacity globally and 916 million imperial gallons per day of water desalination capacity, of which 1.4GW are from renewable sources. In addition, it has a further 4.4GW and 200 MIGD under development, including 2GW from renewable sources.

Taqa also named Jasim Husain Thabet as the new chief executive and managing director of the company. Saeed Hamad Al Dhaheri will be the new deputy chief executive and Stephen John Ridlington the company’s chief financial officer.

“Today marks the beginning of Taqa’s new journey, which will see us fully integrate our diverse asset portfolio and combine the talent and expertise of both organisations into a stronger company,” Mr Thabet said.

The entity “has a strong international footprint that enables us to pursue growth opportunities in the GCC and beyond, all while rewarding our shareholders with a sustainable dividend policy”, he said.

Following the completion of the transaction, Taqa, which is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, has become the UAE’s third-largest publicly traded company by market capitalisation.

Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office also visited Taqa to review the results of the company's transactions with ADPower, Abu Dhabi Media Office tweeted on Wednesday.

He was also briefed about the company's future strategy, the office added.