Abu Dhabi's Waha Capital to Invest $870 mln Cash Bounty
Abu Dhabi investment firm Waha Capital plans to invest 3.2 billion dirhams ($872 million) in the short-term to grow its energy, healthcare and infrastructure portfolio, its chief executive said on Sunday.
Salem Rashid al-Noaimi spoke to Reuters after the firm posted an 88 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit to 142.1 million dirhams and a more-than fivefold increase in annual profit to 1.73 billion dirhams, bolstered by deals around its investment in AerCap Holdings.
AerCap Holdings, in which Waha was the largest shareholder, bought American International Group's aircraft leasing business in a $5.4 billion cash and share deal that was completed in May.
This diluted its stake in the firm by almost half but provided it with significant cash to deploy into new deals.
Its cash position was bolstered further in December, when Waha hedged 12 million shares it owned in AerCap and sold a further 3 million shares in the aircraft leasing firm, giving it $532 million in funding.
"We would like to deploy our firepower of 3.2 billion dirhams to grow our energy, infrastructure, healthcare and education projects," Noaimi said, adding some deals are close to finalising. He did not elaborate.
Waha would like to increase its stake in Dubai's National Petroleum Services (NPS), having bought a 20.15 percent stake last year for 274 million dirhams, he said.
It was also interested in launching a second infrastructure fund. It is currently co-sponsor of the $300 million Mena Infrastructure Fund, which is fully invested.
Currently Waha holds a 12.6 percent stake in AerCap and all its shares are fully hedged, Noaimi said, adding Waha plans to stick to its hedging plan until maturity over three years, after which it has the option to hand back shares or pay for them.
Profit growth in 2015 may not be "phenomenal as in 2014", Noaimi said, but in the next three to five years "our ambition is to continue in the same trajectory". (Editing by David French and Raissa Kasolowsky)