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Clifford Chance advises on largest ever IPO on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX)

7 October 2021

Clifford Chance advises on largest ever IPO on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX)

Firm acts as Banks' counsel on ADNOC Drilling's landmark US$1.1 billion IPO and US$10 billion listing.

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and J.P. Morgan Securities Plc (as Joint Global Coordinators) and EFG Hermes UAE Limited, Emirates NBD Capital PSC, International Securities L.L.C., Merrill Lynch International and Société Générale (as Joint Bookrunners) in connection with ADNOC Drilling's landmark IPO and listing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

This is the second IPO in the UAE in 2021 and the second ever IPO of an ADNOC subsidiary, representing an important milestone for Abu Dhabi markets and ADNOC. Demand from local and international institutional and retail investors resulted in the IPO being oversubscribed 31 times, raising more than US$1.1 billion and making it the largest ever listing on the ADX.

Through this IPO, ADNOC Drilling will be able to raise capital and create a broader investor base, whilst also supporting the growth and expansion of the UAE’s private sector and capital markets. The IPO also marks another key milestone in ADNOC’s ongoing transformation journey and is fully consistent with ADNOC’s ongoing strategy to unlock and maximize value by proactively managing its portfolio of businesses and capital.

For nearly 50 years, ADNOC Drilling has been a critical enabler of ADNOC’s exploration, development and production of Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas resources. Today, it is the largest national drilling company in the Middle East by rig fleet size, with a fleet of 96 owned rigs, and it remains the sole provider of rig services to ADNOC upstream companies, on agreed contractual terms. In the years ahead, ADNOC Drilling is set to capitalise on and play a crucial role in enabling ADNOC’s plans to increase crude oil production capacity by 25% to 5 million barrels per day by 2030, achieve UAE gas self-sufficiency and produce 1 billion cubic feet per day of unconventional gas.

A cross-border team advised on the transaction, jointly led by Dubai-based partner and head of the Middle East equity capital markets practice, Mike Taylor, and Paris-based US securities partner Alex Bafi, who were supported by senior associates Rezwan Azam (Dubai) and Christopher Osborne (London), and associate Kelly Frevele (London).

Mike Taylor commented: "We are delighted to have supported ADNOC Drilling and advise the banks on this landmark and strategically important transaction in the UAE equity capital markets space. It is a testament to ADNOC, the banks and the ADX that the IPO has been such a success. This transaction builds on our leading Middle East equity capital markets practice, having also acted for the banks on the recent IPO and listing of Mubadala-owned, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (Yahsat), the first IPO listed in the UAE since 2017 and the first ever IPO of a Mubadala subsidiary, as well as other IPOs due to come to market in the coming months."