Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is reportedly close to sealing a deal with a consortium of investors to sell a stake of up to 49% in its natural gas pipelines business.

Adnoc could close the estimated $15bn deal with the consortium led by New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management as early as June, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The GIP consortium also includes Italian infrastructure operator Snam, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Singapore sovereign fund GIC and South Korea’s NH Investment & Securities Company.

It was earlier reported that US investment firm BlackRock had pulled out of the race to become an investor in the Adnoc gas pipelines investment structure.

Last year, it was reported that Adnoc was considering setting up a gas pipeline leasing structure to extract more financial value from its assets, as the Abu Dhabi energy major strives to implement measures to improve operational efficiency and profitability.

Adnoc has reportedly hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Japan’s Mizuho as financial advisers to arrange for a lease agreement for its natural gas pipeline assets.

Adnoc Oil Pipelines

The structure Adnoc is reportedly looking to put in place to lease its gas pipelines network has a precedent in the private equity investment arrangement for Adnoc Oil Pipelines, the company set up by Adnoc to manage the Abu Dhabi energy major’s oil pipelines portfolio.

The company signed a $4bn agreement with KKR and BlackRock in February 2019 to lease 40% of its oil pipelines network.

Abu Dhabi pensions fund ADRPBF and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC later invested 3% and 6% equity stakes, respectively, in Adnoc Oil Pipelines.

Following the closure of the deal with its four investors, Adnoc now holds a 51% stake in Adnoc Oil Pipelines, and has been able to raise a total of $4.9bn from the 49% equity stake divestment.

This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source of business intelligence about the Middle East. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here.