ADNOC to float 4% of its gas business in IPO

(Reuters)—Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will sell 4% of its gas business in an initial public offering (IPO), according to a newspaper notice and an emailed statement on Friday.

ADNOC Gas's offering is set to be open from Feb. 23 to March 2 for institutional investors, while retail investors can subscribe until March 1, according to the notice in the National newspaper and the statement.

Shares are expected to begin trading on March 13. No unit target price has been set for the 3.07 B shares that will make up the sale.

Reuters first reported the IPO size on Thursday, ahead of the announcement. Sources also told Reuters last month ADNOC was eyeing a valuation of at least $50 B for its gas business, which would mean IPO proceeds of roughly $2 B or higher.

ADNOC holds a 95% stake in ADNOC Gas after transferring 5% of the share capital to Abu Dhabi National Energy Company. Following the IPO, ADNOC will hold 91% of ADNOC Gas.

Should the deal go through, ADNOC Gas expects to target payments of dividends of $1.625 B in the fourth quarter of this year for the first half of 2023, according to an ADNOC Gas intention to float document emailed on Friday.

ADNOC Gas plans to offer a further $1.625 B in the second quarter of 2024 for the second half of 2023.

The company said it expects to "grow the annual target dividend amount from $3.25 B by a growth rate of 5% per annum on a dividend per share basis over the period 2024–2027."

ADNOC is sharpening its focus on gas as Europe seeks to replace all Russian energy imports as early as mid-2024, after gradual supply cuts in the wake of Western sanctions imposed over what Moscow calls its "special operation" in Ukraine.

Companies from the Middle East raised $21.9 B through IPOs in 2022, more than half the total for the wider EMEA region, which includes Europe and Africa, according to Dealogic.

Over the past two years, ADNOC has listed petrochemicals company Borouge, fertilizer and ammonia maker Fertiglobe, and ADNOC Drilling.

It also plans to float its logistics and services unit.

(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Gerry Doyle and Tom Hogue)

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