Stock - Dubai Investments Park
There had been market speculation about a sell-off involving Emicool. For Dubai Investments, the deal represents an opportunity to raise equity ahead of new and major investments. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Investments is selling a 50 per cent stake in its district cooling subsidiary Emicool to Actis. The deal sees Emicool with a corporate valuation of Dh3.7 billion and equity valuation of Dh2.4 billion.

The deal is rated as ‘one of largest transactions in the district cooling industry in the MENA region’.

London-headquartered Actis is an investment firm focussed on the emerging markets, and specifically in the energy, infrastructure, real estate and private equity space. According to the Actis website, it has assets under management of $19 billion with a portfolio of 100 companies.

“Our JV deal with Actis is aimed at serving the growing demands of the district cooling sector by seamlessly integrating the capabilities of both the parties," said Khalid Bin Kalban, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dubai Investments. "We are very happy to announce this divestment deal as a part of the Company’s robust plans towards implementing a prudent approach to asset management, facilitating efficient recycling of capital to invest in future growth."

Emicool is the district cooling provider of choice for all of Dubai Investments’ ventures. The deal also helps the latter tap into funding at a time when it has announced major expansion moves, including a Dh1 billion resort in Ras Al Khaimah.

The Emicool portfolio
Emirates District Cooling (Emicool) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai Investments. It was launched in 2003 with the headquarters at Dubai Investments Park.

It provides services at Dubai Investments Park, Dubai Motor City, Dubai Sports City, Uptown Mirdif, Palazzo Versace, Damac Hills and Mirdiff Hills, Night Souk by Nakheel, the RTA Metro Stations (Expo line) and DWTC at Expo 2020.

Hot marketplace

The UAE’s district cooling space has been recording major activity in the last 16 months, with Tabreed acquiring multiple assets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, Empower – which will be heading for an IPO – has been consolidating its district cooling capacities across projects.

With Actis on board, Emicool has a chance to go wider. It currently connects to more than 2,200 buildings across the UAE. According to Adrian Mucalov, Partner at Actis, “Actis sees clear opportunity for Emicool to become a regional leader in sustainable district cooling and related services.”

Over these years, Dubai Investments focused on re-engineering the cost of operations, invested in plant development, enhanced technological know-how and created a strategic asset that has added significant value to the UAE’s district cooling sector. We are optimistic it will grow further with Actis onboard now

- Khalid Bin Kalban of Dubai Investments