Tabreed Eyes Growth With New Partnerships, Acquisitions

Press release
Published August 7th, 2017 - 12:12 GMT
Jasim Husain Thabet, Tabreed CEO (GN)
Jasim Husain Thabet, Tabreed CEO (GN)

National Central Cooling Company, also known as Tabreed, will be looking at new opportunities after a tie-up with French energy company Engie recently, the company’s chief executive officer told Gulf News in an interview.

“With Engie on board, we are truly moving in the direction of being a regional international player. Having a strong energy company as a shareholder fits our appetite for growth,” said Jasim Husain Thabet. “Our focus will continue to be on the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] but I see us seriously exploring markets outside the GCC and closing on those if they make sense for us.”

The company in June announced that global energy leader Engie will purchase 40 per cent of Tabreed from Mubadala through the conversion of Mubadala’s Mandatory Convertible Bonds (MCBs) and transfer of 1.086 billion shares to Engie. The deal is valued at Dh2.8 billion.

Headquartered in France, Engie has been active in the Gulf for more than 30 years generating 30 gigawatts of power and around five million cubic metres of desalinated water. It operates 20 power plants in the region, including three in Bahrain, one in Kuwait, six in Oman, three in Saudi Arabia, five in the UAE and other parts.

Thabet also said joining hands with Engie will be positive for the company financially as the French firm has operations in more than seventy countries and is a key player in district cooling and heating in Europe.

“They [Engie] see an opportunity coming into Tabreed. I see it as a positive and [it] sends a strong message to the market. They are also key players when it comes to operational excellence and project financing and the transaction will be positive for us financially,” he said.

The Abu Dhabi-based district cooling company posted strong financial results in the first half of this year. The net profit attributable to the parent company rose 20 per cent to Dh192.7 million in the first half of 2017, as compared to the Dh160.5 million seen during the same period last year.

Group revenue, too, increased by 10 per cent to Dh639.2 million in the period, as compared to Dh578.6 million in the first half of 2016.

Thabet was optimistic about the growth of the company in the GCC, where it owns and operates more than 72 plants, including some in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain.

“I am optimistic about the GCC. [The] population continues to grow and governments continue to invest in key infrastructure projects. Almost fifty per cent of our contracts are with the government entities so we have strong offtake government-backed cashflows,” he said.

He added that Tabreed is working with Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Financial Harbour and with big developers in Muscat.

In Abu Dhabi, the company is working with the UAE Armed Forces, Aldar and the Ministry of Interior; and in Dubai, with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for Dubai Metro among others, Thabet said.

Tabreed’s total group connected capacity across the GCC increased to 1,084,451 Refrigeration Tons (RT), with 36,040 RT of new customer connections added in the first half of the year. Of those, 22,863 RT were in the UAE, 3,000 RT in Bahrain and 10,177 RT in other regions.

Acquisitions

Thabet said the company is always looking at acquisition opportunities in the UAE and outside. In 2015, the firm acquired Al Wajeez cooling plant on Al Maryah Island and early this year, it acquired another plant providing cooling to Nation Towers in Abu Dhabi.

“We are always looking at organic and inorganic opportunities, like the development of a new plant and also to connect to new projects with excess capacity at our existing plants. At the same time we are looking at acquisition opportunities if we can pick up one or two small companies as we go along,” he said.

The firm is also open to new partnerships to grow its business, he added.

Source: Gulf News

Background Information

National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed)

From commissioning its first district cooling plant in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi in 1999 to 73 plants today across the GCC, Tabreed has defined the region’s cooling excellence standards with an unwavering commitment to quality, safety, and efficiency.

Built on a successful track record acquired over the last 20 years, our partners trust us to deliver innovative and reliable solutions that meet their cost and operational efficiency goals as well as drive energy efficiency and sustainability.

As a UAE-based regional utility leader, Tabreed offers stable financials returns and shareholder value as a publicly listed company on the Dubai Financial Market.

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