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Middle East Report 2009| pfi| 7


The emergence of Aabar says more about IPIC and its future role


cals and investments. Such moves are indicators of IPIC's increasing stature within Abu Dhabi and its growing role in shaping Abu Dhabi's global economic footprint. The shift from being a pure downstream hydrocarbon


investor to a much wider player began to take shape in early 2008. The first concrete sign of this change came on April 9, when IPIC announced that it had acquired a 2% stake in utility Energias de Portugal (EDP). In a state- ment announcing the deal, the company said: "The acquisition forms part of IPIC's current diversification plans and marks the entry of IPIC into the utility sector." The deal represented a small but significant shift into a new area; but one that was still close to IPIC's energy roots. A much more seismic shift came in January 2009, when IPIC announced it had acquired a 70% stake in Ger- man industrial services group MAN Ferrostaal for €490m (US$670m). The cash deal for the arm of MAN Group, which also included a clause by which IPIC could purchase the remaining 30% by the end of 2010, stretched IPIC's reach into the industrial sector for the first time and gave it new markets and geographies to explore. Such moves have already begun to take shape, with MAN Ferrostaal


The shift from being a pure


downstream hydrocarbon investor to a much wider player began to take shape in early 2008.


being lined up by its new parent for a number of differ- ent roles. These includes the construction of a US$1.34bn ammonia and carbamide complex in Uzbekistan by a joint venture of IPIC and Uzkimyosanoat, the Uzbek state chemical firm.


But as IPIC was formalising its MAN Ferrostaal acqui- sition, it was also on the verge of announcing another; one that would give it direct access to North America for the first time.


On February 24 2009, IPIC confirmed that had reached agreement with Nova Chemicals for a takeover ulti- mately worth US$2.3bn. The decision would see the Abu Dhabi fund purchase all Nova's shares at US$6 per share – valuing the company at US$499m – as well as absorb- ing Nova's debts. IPIC would also offer a US$250m cred- it backstop facility to provide the Canadian company with liquidity to continue functioning.


The deal worked well for both sides. For Nova, the bid from IPIC amounted to a rescue from the punishing economic downturn. The day before the announcement, Nova's share price on the New York Stock Exchange stood at US$1.66, having fallen 96% in the previous 12


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