Abu Dhabi's national oil company ADNOC has stepped up its acquisition spree, acquiring Dutch-Egyptian chemical giant OCI Global's majority stake in fertilizer producer Fertiglobe for $3.62 billion. ADNOC's equity stake in Fertiglobe is set to increase to 86.2%, with the deal maintaining a 13.8% free float on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. The acquisition aligns with ADNOC's global expansion plans in petrochemicals, reinforcing its commitment to Fertiglobe's growth. Simultaneously, ADNOC and OCI have signed an MoU to explore cooperation on future opportunities for ammonia imports into Europe and product distribution. The transaction is expected to close in 2024.
Khaled Salmeen, Executive Director, Downstream, Marketing & Trading Directorate at ADNOC, stated, “Today’s agreement reinforces ADNOC’s long-term commitment to Fertiglobe and our continued focus on delivering growth and maximizing value for the company’s shareholders. This important transaction supports ADNOC’s ambitious chemicals growth strategy and accelerates our plan to establish a global growth platform for ammonia and clean ammonia.”
The acquisition is part of ADNOC's ambitious global expansion, with a focus on chemicals, in line with COP28 statements by ADNOC leader Sultan Al Jaber, emphasizing green hydrogen and green ammonia as potential future fuels. The move positions ADNOC to be a major player in chemical recycling and the circular economy, evident in its rumored bid for Germany’s COVESTRO, valuing the deal at around EUR 12 billion. Related: Protectionist Trade Policies Are Threatening the Progress of Renewable Energy
ADNOC's focus on downstream activities does not signal a departure from its traditional oil and gas business. Ongoing talks with German chemical giant BASF’s daughter Wintershall DEA and the rumored discussions with OMV indicate a multifaceted approach. As ADNOC holds a significant stake in OMV, discussions center around a potential merger between OMV plastics part Borealis and the Abu Dhabi-listed JV Borouge, forming a global giant with a market cap of around EUR 30 billion.
The year 2024 promises to be significant for ADNOC, reflecting its strategic moves amid a changing energy landscape. The competition between conventional hydrocarbon giants and renewables, underscored by COP28, highlights the focus of national oil companies on both sides of the energy spectrum. While green initiatives are the future, the profitability of hydrocarbons continues to drive investments and acquisitions globally, fueled by the substantial capital resources of Arab NOCs, with ADNOC leading the way with a war chest of around $150 billion.
By Cyril Widdershoven for Oilprice.com
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