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Abu Dhabi to merge IPIC and Mubadala Development

Abu Dhabi will merge two of its major state-owned investment vehicles, International Petroleum Investment Co. and Mubadala Development, to reduce cost and improve efficiency as global crude oil prices remain weak.

The merger would pool assets of about USD 135 billion, many of them non-energy-related, and debt of about USD 42 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Abu Dhabi has the largest proven crude oil reserves in the UAE, which represents 5.8% of the world’s total. The UAE is also the fourth largest crude oil producer among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

A royal decree issued by the emirate’s crown prince, Mohamed bin Zayed, ordered the creation of a joint committee to merge the two investment funds, each of which manages its own multi-billion dollar portfolio of domestic and international assets, with large concentrations in the petroleum and electrical power sectors. The name of the new entity has not been announced.

The two companies are responsible for a number of major planned oil sector projects, including several in the Middle East and North Africa.

IPIC is the Abu Dhabi government’s energy and petrochemicals-focused investment arm. IPIC’s petroleum investments are concentrated in the downstream sector and consist mainly of holdings in Western companies, although it also holds stakes in Japanese refiner Cosmo and Papua New Guinea-based oil and natural gas producer Oil Search. IPIC’s wholly-owned subsidiaries include Cepsa, the second largest Spanish oil company, and U.S.-based Nova Chemicals. It also has a significant stake in Austrian integrated petroleum group OMV and chemicals company Borealis.

Mubadala has a more diverse portfolio than IPIC, including investments in the aerospace, health and defense sectors as well as low-carbon energy through its wholly-owned Masdar unit. The group’s most profitable enterprise, however, is its Mubadala Petroleum unit, which manages an international portfolio of oil and gas exploration and production assets.