UAE’s Taqa to Offer More Shares in Asset-Transfer Deal

Abu Dhabi’s Taqa plans to sell more shares after completing an asset-transfer deal with its parent, government-owned ADPower, that creates a utility giant in the Gulf Arab region.

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Taqa’s credit rating by three levels to Aa3, the fourth-highest investment grade, following the transfer. Its stock fell 2.3%, the biggest drop since June 8, to 0.67 dirhams.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., as Taqa is officially known, also appointed Jasim Husain Thabet as chief executive officer and managing director, it said in a statement. Thabet was CEO of ADPower, which owns 98.6% of Taqa’s issued shares. The share offering will increase the free float.

The asset-transfer deal makes Taqa the third-largest listed company in the United Arab Emirates in terms of market capitalization. It acquired most of ADPower’s assets for generating, transmitting and distributing power and water, in exchange for 106 billion new shares, according to the statement.

Consolidation Push

Abu Dhabi, the capital and largest emirate of the UAE, has been pushing for consolidation among government-owned banks, investment funds and other companies to boost the oil-dependent economy. Brent crude prices have dropped 37% from last year, while the coronavirus pandemic is adding to pressure on growth.

Taqa has 23 gigawatts of power-generation capacity globally, with assets in Canada, Ghana, India, Iraq, the U.S. and several other countries. The company owns all of Abu Dhabi’s power and water transmission and distribution businesses. It has water-desalination capacity of 916 million imperial gallons per day.

“The transaction significantly enhances Taqa’s asset portfolio,” Moody’s, which gave the company a stable outlook, said.

Taqa also announced the appointment of Saeed Hamad Al Dhaheri as deputy CEO and Stephen Ridlington as chief financial officer.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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