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IHC seeks takeovers in 'buyers' market'

August 11, 2022
finance & economy

Abu Dhabi conglomerate is aiming for publicly-listed companies in growth markets

Abu Dhabi conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC) expects to increase its takeover activity, including in India and Turkey, as global market turbulence has created 'a buyers' market,' its chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

IHC, the most valuable company on the Abu Dhabi bourse with a market capitalisation of around $167 billion, is aiming for publicly-listed companies in growth markets, Syed Basar Shueb said, adding that it was also looking in South America and Indonesia.

'But in the private domain, it is still difficult to negotiate with the owners because they all are still living in a year-old world where the valuations were extremely high. It's not a sellers' market, it's a buyers' market now.'

IHC, which straddles sectors from healthcare to real estate to IT and utilities, made 70 acquisitions at a total value of Dh10 billion ($2.72 billion) this year.

Its highest profile deals include a Dh7.3 billion investment in three of India's Gautam Adani companies in May this year.

Rising interest rates and predictions of a global downturn have made IHC more selective as valuations in private markets do not reflect current market conditions, Shueb said.

He also said the company was seeking sizeable acquisitions, rather than smaller deals, to boost its bottom line, although he did not give an indication of how large.

The company on Monday reported a 137 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit for the first half of the year to Dh10.35 billion.

IHC's stock has risen over 120 per cent so far this year to trade at Dh348 a share.