Abu Dhabi's ADNOC in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO-sources

DUBAI (Reuters) -Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has started virtual meetings with potential investors ahead of the planned initial public offering of its drilling unit, two sources told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: An Emirati man is seen near the logo of ADNOC in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates May 14, 2018. Picture taken May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Christopher Pike

Banks working on ADNOC Drilling are scheduling calls with local, regional and international institutional investors to sound out appetite for the potential sale, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.

The meetings are described as an early look engagement, one of the sources said, where the company that is set for a public share sale is introduced and feedback is sourced from investors.

ADNOC, which supplies nearly 3% of global oil demand, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Monday.

It is planning to take the unit public in the third quarter, one of the sources said previously. The company could raise at least $1 billion from the share sale, the source said.

ADNOC Drilling owns and operates a large fleet of rigs, including 75 onshore rigs, 20 offshore jackup rigs, and 11 well water rigs, according to its website.

The drilling business is critical for ADNOC’s upstream operations, helping the oil company reach its production targets.

ADNOC has invited a handful of international and local banks to take part in the process of the public share sale of ADNOC Drilling, which is due later this month.

ADNOC Chief Executive Sultan al-Jaber has been the main architect of the transformation strategy the company embarked on more than four years ago, building an investment team to monetise assets and raise funds from international private equity groups.

The group is also planning to float Fertiglobe, a fertiliser joint venture with Dutch-listed chemical producer OCI later this year.

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