Waha Capital to invest AED 20 billion in 3 years

Published February 19th, 2008 - 07:56 GMT

Waha Capital, the Abu Dhabi-based and listed holding company, announced that its investments in aviation, finance, real estate, infrastructure and maritime and logistics sectors will exceed AED 20 billion over the next three years.  Waha Capital also unveiled a vision and strategy to achieve rapid growth through acquisitions, joint ventures and creation of new business. 

 

Addressing a press conference held here to launch Waha Capital's new corporate identity, vision and business strategy, Waha Capital Chairman HE Hussain Al Nowais said the launch today marks a single-business company's re-invention aimed at rapid growth and diversification following a decade of success. 

 

The press conference was also attended by Waha Capital's newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Samer R. Alhaj and Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, CEO of Waha Leasing, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the new holding company. 

 

Al Nowais described Abu Dhabi's current phase of growth and long-term economic development plans as a well-conceived revolution in major investment sectors. “This rapid pace of developments is a result of the major and unprecedented initiatives launched by the country's leaders led by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces. Abu Dhabi and the initiatives underway here have attracted the attention of several leading international companies and the global media.”

 

"Waha Capital's new strategy is designed to enable the company to be a key player in this transformation and in these initiatives.  Our gross investments over the next three years are expected to exceed AED 20 billion across multiple sectors of business," he said.

 

"In order to realise the vision of our wise leadership, we are driven by a well-planned strategy that is based on making use of the opportunities in all aspects, given the flourishing investment atmosphere in the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular," he added. 

 

Al Nowais said that the company's Board of Directors, which had taken charge two years back, has finalised a strategy that calls for diversifications of business portfolio, building on the company's current assets, increasing value for shareholders and ensuring consistent growth in income by identifying new investment sources. 

 

"We aim to achieve this by focusing on new business sectors, which include in addition to big-ticket leasing, financial services, real estate and maritime. As of today we have four subsidiaries dedicated to each of these sectors:  Waha Leasing, Waha Financial Services, Waha Land and Waha Maritime."

 

"Waha Capital will focus on building its financial power through business growth and ensuring financial flexibility. As a company looking at investing in acquisitions, joint ventures and new business, we will ensure that Waha Capital has appropriate and transparent funding options," he added.

 

Waha Capital's Chairman also highlighted the company's achievements in moving in the new direction.  He noted that the company has acquired a 42.5% share in Addax Bank, a leading Bahrain-based investment bank. Waha Capital owns 60% of Waha Financial Services, which was established as a joint venture with UK-based Blenheim Capital.

 

"Waha Capital also entered strategic partnerships, such as the MENA Infrastructure Fund with HSBC and Dubai International Capital. The coming months will see new strategic partnerships with leading real estate companies in Abu Dhabi to benefit from this promising and booming sector," he said.

 

Al Nowais expressed his deep appreciation for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, for allocating a 6 square kilometre block of land for Waha to start the new business. The land is located in Al Hameem Area on Tareef-Abu Dhabi Road.  "Out of the AED 20 billion investments for the next three years, Waha Capital is planning to invest AED 15 billion in the real estate sector  by setting up complete complex for warehousing and logistics facilities along with middle-class housing and labour camps," he said.

 

Al Nowais stressed that Waha Capital will implement its new strategy through diverse routes, most notably by strengthening cooperation and coordination between the four companies in a way that will complement Abu Dhabi's vision. He also underlined the importance of the role of highly qualified and skilled manpower in implementing the company's vision and strategy, and added that Waha Capital's Board has been successful in attracting local and regional talent, both on the technical and management sides. 
 
Samer Alhaj, the CEO, focused his address on the company’s new vision, mission, and strategy.  Alhaj said that Waha Capital has a clear vision, supported by a well-defined mission and strategy that are closely aligned with Abu Dhabi's exciting long-term growth and development plans.  Growth and diversification are the new drivers for Waha Capital's vision, which is "to be an Abu Dhabi-based corporate powerhouse that adds significant value to the national economy and community through business growth and diversification, and by ensuring transfer of knowledge, skills and technology,” Alhaj said.

 

“This is of course a grand vision, but also very clear and realistic, considering today's local and global economic realities. It is this vision that has led the Chairman and Board of Directors into restructuring an existing and profitable company into a new holding company called Waha Capital,” he added.   

 

Explaining the importance of a holding company, Alhaj stated that the structure and role of a holding company offers flexible and unlimited potential for growth and expansion. “We can branch out into new sectors as we have just done – from leasing into financial services, real estate and maritime.  We can expand geographically as well.  Let me take this opportunity to assure you and our investors that we intend to fully exert that mandate.”

 

The CEO said Waha Capital's mission is centred on leveraging opportunities by establishing and managing multiple strategic business units with three main objectives: building a world-class diversified business group, achieving consistent increase in profitability and shareholder value, and adding value to the national economy and supporting the local community.

 

Alhaj unveiled Waha Capital's four-pronged strategy led by optimisation of internal synergies to complement Abu Dhabi's economic vision with a focus on sectors that the emirate has prioritized for development.  The second focal point of the strategy is to build and expand strategic business subsidiaries through acquisitions, joint ventures and the creation of new businesses.

 

The third is to build a world-class organization managed by a team of highly qualified, multi-national professionals to implement best-in-class management and corporate governance practices. The fourth point in the strategy is to strengthen the company's financial muscle through organic growth and enhance financial flexibility to fund acquisitions and new ventures through transparent funding options.

 

“Waha Capital is launching today as a diversified group.  Our portfolio includes Waha Leasing, which has over a decade of solid track record focused on big-ticket (mainly aircraft) leasing.  Waha's three new subsidiaries are Waha Financial Services, Waha Land and Waha Maritime.  Each of these subsidiaries will specialize and grow in their respective areas of business, namely financial services, property development and shipping,” Alhaj said.

 

Asserting that the Board of Directors and management are determined to see Waha Capital in the league of world-class companies, Alhaj said:  “We will build on our current pool of multi-national professionals and we will work hard towards implementing best-in-class business practices and corporate governance. After all, what makes an organization world-class are its people and practices.”

 

Alhaj also voiced Waha Capital's aim to become "the partner of choice" in the UAE and the region for regional and global businesses.  He cited the strong backing of the Abu Dhabi Government, a decade of success in international leasing and structured finance, financial strength and flexibility, and its clear vision and growth strategy as key factors that make Waha Capital an ideal partner for local and international businesses. 

 

Waha Capital's morning press conference was followed by a gala dinner at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi accompanied by a laser show to unveil the new brand and its vision.  The dinner was attended by about 200 specially invited guests including Abu Dhabi's business leaders, top officials and Waha's Capital's other key stakeholders.


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