Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala weighs selling property assets to Aldar

Mubadala may also dispose of some residential buildings in the United Arab Emirates’ capital

Mubadala Investment Co. is weighing the sale of a mall and other real estate assets to Abu Dhabi’s largest property developer Aldar Properties, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The sovereign wealth fund is considering selling the Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island, as well as the city’s financial district, Abu Dhabi Global Market, to Aldar, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Mubadala may also dispose of some residential buildings in the United Arab Emirates’ capital, they said.

Talks are at an early stage and may not result in a deal, the people said.

Owners of Abu Dhabi retail space are trying to navigate a market slump as the coronavirus pandemic compounds an oversupply of homes, offices and shops.

The decline in oil prices is also affecting growth in Abu Dhabi, holder of about 6 per cent of the world’s crude reserves.

To offset the downturn, Aldar is seeking to grow its asset management business to secure a steady stream of income. Mubadala, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, last week said it’s ready to use its growing cash pile for deals across the globe.

“Under the normal course of business, Aldar reviews multiple acquisition and divestment opportunities while maintaining the highest degree of transparency and governance,” it said in a statement.

A representative for Mubadala declined to comment.

Aldar shares rose 1.7 per cent as of 1.40pm in Abu Dhabi after climbing as much as 2.3 per cent. They have lost 19 per cent this year.

Mubadala, which has $232bn of assets, is ready to buy more stocks and make other equity investments, possibly in the US, according to Saeed Al Mazrouei, deputy chief financial officer and head of mergers and acquisitions at the Abu Dhabi-based firm, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Mubadala bought the Galleria Mall from private equity firm Gulf Capital in 2019.