A Closer Look at Virgin Galactic’s UAE Partner Aabar Investments

A bit more on Aabar Investments PJSC, which last week announced a $280 million investment in space tourism company Virgin Galactic.

Headquarters: Abu Dhabi
Company Type: Public
Listed: Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange
Friday Close: $2.44

Description:

Aabar Investments PJSC operates as an investment company. It invests in companies operating in various sectors, including energy, infrastructure, real estate, automotive, and finance. Aabar Investments, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Falcon Private Bank Ltd., provides wealth management services to private clients, wealthy families, and institutional investors in Switzerland, Asia, and the Middle East. The company was formerly known as Aabar Petroleum Investments Company PJSC.

Recent Investments/News

From The Independent:

The $280m investment by Aabar will provide sufficient capital to finance Virgin Galactic until paying passengers come on board, says Sir Richard. It is high stakes for Aabar, however, whose value on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange is just £330m.

It has been on a spending spree this year that has already seen it invest £1.75bn for a 9 per cent stake in Daimler, commit $735m to buying land in Abu Dhabi, another $140m investment in an Austrian property and technology venture, plus the acquisition of the Swiss private-banking subsidiary of AIG, the insurance company bailed out by the US government.

But 71 per cent of Aabar’s shares are owned by the International Petroleum Investment Company, a wholly owned vehicle of the Emirate’s government and chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, half-brother of the country’s president and a minister in the government as well as a businessman – and owner of Manchester City. Besides its oil wealth, including 47 per cent of Spain’s Cepsa petroleum group, Aabar’s parent owns MAN, the German lorries group, and has just made £1.5bn selling part of the Barclays shares it bought last autumn.

From Edmunds.com:

Earlier this year, Aabar paid $2.8 billion for a 9.1 percent stake in Daimler. At the time, Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche said Aabar would help “support development of battery systems and electric powertrains, accelerating the worldwide commercialization of electric vehicles.”

In May, Daimler sold a portion of its 10 percent stake in Tesla to Aabar. Not coincidentally, Elon Musk, founder and chairman of Tesla, also owns an aerospace company, SpaceX, which is developing its own spacecraft and has several NASA contracts to supply the International Space Station.