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Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Borealis AG plan to sell a 10% stake in their petrochemical joint venture in an initial public offering, the latest in a string of blockbuster listings from the Middle East to push ahead even as volatility rocks global markets.
The state-owned energy company and the Austrian chemicals producer will sell 3 billion shares in the Abu Dhabi IPO of Borouge, they said in a statement, without indicating a price range. The sale could raise about $2 billion and value the unit that makes specialty plastics for manufacturing and consumer goods at roughly $20 billion, Bloomberg News reported in April.
Borouge shares are expected to start trading on June 3, Adnoc and Borealis said in the statement. The subscription period for retail investors will be from May 23 to May 28 and qualified investors can sign up to buy the shares from May 23 to May 30.
The Middle East IPO boom has continued to gather steam even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hawkish central banks and soaring inflation have put a lid on share sales in the rest of the world. The region has largely dodged the turbulence, buoyed by high oil prices and significant equity inflows into Gulf markets.
Local energy companies are stepping up efforts to list assets, looking to draw in global investors and support the shift to a post-oil economy. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have been leading the way in this drive, with the IPO of oil giant Saudi Aramco in 2019 and the sale of stakes in various Adnoc units.
Read More: Abu Dhabi’s Energy Giant Adnoc Is Thinking About Life Beyond Oil
Issuers have looked to lure investors with rich dividends, like the $75 billion payout promised to Aramco shareholders. Borouge owners are expected to receive $975 million in dividends related to financial year 2022, rising to at least $1.3 billion for financial year 2023, according to the statement. Borouge will pay holders in two installments. Adnoc and Borealis will receive a one time $250 million dividend before the listing.
Recent IPOs in the energy-rich Persian Gulf have attracted enormous levels of demand. Dubai’s main water and power utility DEWA drew orders worth $86 billion for its $6.1 billion offering last month. Adnoc Drilling attracted more than $34 billion of orders for its listing last year in Abu Dhabi. Aramco is considering plans to list its oil trading unit to capitalize of soaring energy costs, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
Founded in the late 1990s, Borouge manufactures plastics used in everything from automobiles and food packaging to medicine vials and piping systems. Its main plant is in Abu Dhabi. The company employs more than 3,000 people and serves customers across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Adnoc said last month it was buying the 25% stake in Borealis owned Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. Austrian refiner OMV AG will continue to hold the majority 75% stake in Borealis. That deal and the Borouge IPO are part of the UAE plan to expand its chemicals reach and to attract investment and technology to build new industries and manufacturing.
With the two deals, “Adnoc is poised to capitalize on the significant industrial and consumer-led growth in the petrochemicals sector over the coming decades,” Chief Executive Officer Sultan Al Jaber said in the statement.
Citigroup Inc., First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, HSBC Holdings Plc and Morgan Stanley are the the joint global coordinators.
(Updates with offer period in third paragraph, dividends in sixth.)
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