After the Plenary Group stake buy, ADQ will leverage this to take on PPP infra projects in the GCC and wider Middle East. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: ADQ is buying a 49 per cent stake in Australian infrastructure focused developer Plenary Group. The stake purchase includes those currently held by the Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

The Canadian firm will, however, continue to be 'heavily invested' in a range of Plenary’s Australian assets and remains a major shareholder in Plenary’s separate Americas business.

According to Hamad Al Hammadi, Deputy Group CEO of ADQ, “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."

Once the deal is effected, ADQ and Plenary will speed up the expansion of public and social infrastructure through strategic investments. "The primary capital contribution by ADQ will be used to accelerate Plenary’s growth ambitions across its key markets in Australia, the Middle East, Asia, the UK and Europe," said a statement.

More activity in the Middle East

They will also establish a co-investment platform to focus on public and social infrastructure opportunities, including in the GCC, the Middle East and Central Asia.

"The partnership will allow ADQ to further bolster its track record in investing infrastructure assets to accelerate economic development in the UAE and abroad," the statement added. (ADQ has through recent years invested across verticals and geographies to future-proof its operating model. This week, it also confirmed launching a $180 million tech fund targeted at Omani entities.)

Plenary has a portfolio of 21 assets under management valued at over $25 billion across Australia and the Middle East. 

"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," said Al Hammadi. 

"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.”

Plenary, which launched its Middle East presence in 2022, had secured the UAE’s first schools public-private partnership. It covered the financing, design, procurement, construction, commissioning and 20-year operations and maintenance of three school campuses at Zayed City in Abu Dhabi.