LONDON: International Petroleum Investment Co’s legal tussle with Malaysia’s 1MDB was not a consideration in its proposed merger with fellow Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala, a person close to IPIC said.
“The merger will bring together two of Abu Dhabi’s significant investment companies each with their respective strengths to create an even larger more efficient company with combined assets of US$135bn,” the person close to IPIC told IFR on Thursday. “In a deal on this scale, 1MDB was not a consideration.”
The comments come despite bankers suggesting on Wednesday that the merger is “almost certainly” linked to the spat with the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
Bankers said that the company was most likely entering a merger because its reputation had been “tarnished” by the around US$6.5bn claim against 1MDB, making it tougher for IPIC to come to the Eurobond market.
The fall in oil prices since their 2014 highs is another potential reason for the merger, bankers said on Wednesday.
A person close to the talks told Reuters the merger was likely to be completed by the end of 2017, and was being seen as a merger of equals.