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Plenary partners with ADQ to drive growth

NewsPlenary partners with ADQ to drive growth
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UK and EU

UK and EuropeCorporate

24 Apr 2024

Plenary has entered into an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company ADQ (Moody’s: Aa2; Fitch: AA) for ADQ to acquire a 49% interest in Plenary, subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

As part of the partnership, Plenary and ADQ will also establish a co-development and investment platform which will focus on public and social infrastructure opportunities in high-growth geographies including the GCC region, the Middle East and Central Asia. The partnership will allow ADQ to further bolster its track record in investing in public and social infrastructure in the UAE and abroad.

The transaction provides significant additional balance sheet strength for Plenary. ADQ will invest primary capital into Plenary that will be used to accelerate Plenary’s growth in its key markets across Australia, the Middle East, Asia, the UK and Europe and support investment in all future project opportunities.

L-R: Plenary Founder and Director Paul Oppenheim, Plenary CEO David Lamming and ADQ Director – Portfolio Management Ahmed Al Shamsi

In addition to the new capital, ADQ will acquire shares from existing Plenary shareholders, including all shares owned by global investment group CDPQ. CDPQ will continue to be invested and involved in a range of Plenary’s Australian assets, and to support new projects. It also remains the majority shareholder of Plenary Americas.

Plenary has enjoyed strong early momentum in the Middle East since establishing a presence in 2022, having won the UAE’s first schools infrastructure PPP, the Zayed City Schools project, and has been awarded other major projects expected to be announced shortly.

The co-development and investment platform will build on and accelerate this momentum in partnership with ADQ.

Plenary will remain majority owned and controlled by its Australian founders and senior management team and retains operational independence in its pursuit of developing and investing long term in high-quality infrastructure and property assets.

The agreement represents a significant milestone in what is Plenary’s 20th anniversary year.

Founded in Australia in 2004 by John O’Rourke, Ray Wilson, Paul Oppenheim and Jim Cox, Plenary has steadily grown to be recognised as a market-leading investor, developer and manager of public, urban and community infrastructure and property that has successfully exported its business model around the world.

Plenary Chair and founder John O’Rourke said Plenary is excited by the prospect of partnering with one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East in ADQ.

“This is a strong result for Plenary, ADQ and our clients. We have strong strategic alignment with ADQ, and Plenary is enthusiastic about the growth opportunities that will be made possible in addition to continuing to fund the capital needs of our core business. The partnership will accelerate our growth in Australia and internationally, and the Middle East co-development and Investment platform will unlock significant opportunity and value for both companies in the region. ADQ enjoys a leading position in the Middle East region and increasingly on a global scale, with an impressive portfolio of infrastructure assets. Critical to our partnership, ADQ has a clear mandate to support the further development and operation of public infrastructure in partnership with us. We are confident that this partnership will allow us to seize new opportunities and establish ourselves as a leader in our growth markets,” Mr O’Rourke said.

ADQ Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer Hamad Al Hammadi said, “This collaboration, marking our inaugural venture in Australia, underscores ADQ’s commitment to developing partnerships that complement our investment strategy, which aims to create long-term value and generate sustainable financial returns. We are confident that our partnership in Plenary will unlock significant opportunities to contribute to the development of state-of-the-art infrastructure assets, boosting economic growth and social welfare in the target geographies. ADQ’s existing portfolio of infrastructure assets, many of which are emerging as national champions, will serve as a catalyst to leverage the significant potential of public-private partnership projects together with Plenary, a leader in its field with a proven track record of delivering successful infrastructure projects globally.”

CDPQ has been a longstanding partner of Plenary, having invested more than A$500 million in a variety of Plenary projects since 2012, having acquired a stake in the corporate entity in 2016.

CDPQ Executive Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure Emmanuel Jaclot said, “Since we began our partnership with Plenary Group in 2012, the company has experienced significant growth, something we are delighted to have contributed to. We are pleased to retain our investment in many of Plenary’s Australian assets and we look forward to exploring new opportunities alongside the company, in addition to retaining our 90% stake in Plenary Americas”.

About Plenary

Plenary is an independent investor, developer and manager of public urban and community infrastructure, specialising in public-private partnerships. Founded in Australia in 2004 and celebrating 20 years in 2024, Plenary has steadily expanded to become one of the leading financiers, developers and managers of public infrastructure in its markets. It now counts 21 assets under management across Australia and the Middle East worth more than A$32 billion (US$25 billion).

About ADQ

Established in 2018, ADQ is an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company with a broad portfolio of major enterprises. Its investments span key sectors of the UAE’s diversified economy including energy and utilities, food and agriculture, healthcare and life sciences, and transport and logistics, amongst others. As a strategic partner of the Government of Abu Dhabi, ADQ is committed to accelerating the transformation of the Emirate into a globally competitive and knowledge-based economy.

Chris Whitefield

Executive Director, Communications and Community

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