UAE's Mubadala said to be in talks with potential Cepsa bidders

Sources say investment firms may be interested in part or all of Spanish oil company
UAE's Mubadala said to be in talks with potential Cepsa bidders
By Bloomberg
Fri 13 Jul 2018 12:41 AM

Mubadala Investment Co is holding talks with potential bidders for its Spanish oil company Cepsa Trading as it weighs alternatives to an initial public offering planned for later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Investment firms including CVC Capital Partners and Blackstone Group as well as industry players may be interested in part or all of the company, which could be valued at about 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in either an IPO or a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.

No final decisions have been made as Mubadala continues to prepare for the listing, the people said. Discussions are at an early stage, they said.

A spokesman for Mubadala referred to a statement that Musabbeh Al Kaabi, the head of the firm’s petroleum and petrochemicals platform, made in a March interview with English-language UAE newspaper, the National. In it, Al Kabbi said they’re exploring options for Cepsa including a listing in Spain or bringing in a strategic partner. The spokesman declined to comment further.

Representatives for CVC and Blackstone declined to comment.

Mubadala is seeking about 3 billion euros from a stake sale, people familiar with the matter have said. That could make Cepsa’s IPO the largest in Europe this year after the 4.2 billion-euro listing of Siemens Healthineers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Still, some IPOs have struggled this year, which could make a sale to a bidder an attractive option.

European companies and their shareholders have raised about $29 billion from IPOs this year and withdrawn or postponed sales valued at almost $7 billion on market volatility and low investor demand, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

A potential divestment of Cepsa comes after Abu Dhabi in March combined two of its investment firms - Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Mubadala - to create a wealth fund with assets of about $250 billion.

The scale of the new entity clears the way for the oil-rich emirate to consolidate state-controlled companies and accelerate economic diversification in the UAE.

Cepsa plans to boost sales to Asia, the only major region poised to see growth in its two main lines of business - refined oil products and chemicals used to make consumer goods. The Madrid based-company, founded in 1929, was acquired by a unit of the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund in 2011 amid a push to invest in downstream industries to ensure future demand for their oil.

Rothschild is working as Mubadala’s financial adviser, and Bank of America Corp, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc and Banco Santander are global coordinators for the possible IPO in Madrid, people familiar with the matter have said.

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Last Updated: Fri 13 Jul 2018 12:46 AM GST

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