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FB Roundup: Gautam Adani, Todd Boehly, Guy Hands

By Glen Ferris

Gautam Adani’s family office invests in Abu Dhabi petrochemicals firm
The family office of Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, has committed to invest $75 million in an Abu Dhabi-based petrochemicals firm as part of a $2 billion initial public offering (IPO) - the biggest-ever listing in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) state.

Borouge, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Austrian chemical manufacturer Borealis, has so far secured $570 million from investors, led by the billionaire industrialist and bolstered by the Abu Dhabi state holding firm ADQ, the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, the Emirates Investment Authority and businesses conglomerate Alpha Dhabi.

“All of the foregoing investors have committed to purchase shares at the offer price, with all shares subject to a minimum six-month lock-up arrangement following listing,” Borouge said in a statement.

Borouge was founded in 1998 and has grown to become one of the world’s leading providers of multi-industry plastics solutions.

Following the IPO, Borouge is expected to become the world's largest single-site polyolefin (highly adaptable polymers and thermoplastics) company within two years.

This is the second major investment by Adani’s family office this month, after securing the acquisition of India's leading cement companies, Ambuja Cements and ACC, for $10.5 billion.

Adani, the 11h richest person in the world (according to Forbes), added almost $30 billion to his wealth this year, bringing his net worth up to $106 billion.

Todd Boehly-led consortium officially approved as new Chelsea FC owners
The hard-fought battle for ownership of Chelsea FC has been won by a consortium led by billionaire US investor Todd Boehly, following official approval by the UK government and the Premier League Board.

“[We have] reached a position where we could issue a licence that permits the sale [of the club],” the government said in a statement. “Following the sanctioning of [former Chelsea owner] Roman Abramovich, the government has worked hard to ensure Chelsea Football Club has been able to continue to play football. But we have always been clear that the long-term future of the club could only be secured under a new owner.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner and his partners – including American private equity firm Clearlake Capital (which will be the majority shareholder), US investor Mark Walter and Swiss businessman Hansjorg Wyss – fought off stiff competition from final-round syndicates led by former British Airways and Liverpool FC chairman Sir Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca in the £4.25 billion deal.

“[The] announcement will be complete relief that [Chelsea] can get on with business as usual and do what is needed to ensure the team is best prepared for next season," said former Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme. “I think everybody - the squad and the management - will be relieved they can get on with the job they're employed to do.”

Tycoon Guy Hands bids to buy Butlins holiday camps
Financier and investor Guy Hands is looking to expand his portfolio with the acquisition of Britain's best-known holiday camps, Butlins.

Terra Firma, the Hands family's private investment vehicle, is said to have lined up £600 million in a bid against private equity and real estate competitors Queensgate, Bain Capital, Epiris and TDR Capital for the famed chain founded by Billy Butlin in 1936.

Butlins, which is currently owned by Bourne Leisure (which also owns the Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels brands), has sites in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness and has experienced a staycation revival in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Butlins bid follows Hands’ recent purchase of residential development firms Kier Living (now rebranded as Tilia) and Hopkins Homes. He is also currently embroiled in a legal row with the UK government following his plans to sell Annington Homes, a provider of privately rented homes converted from former Ministry of Defence housing.

US private equity firm Blackstone, which owns the majority of Bourne Leisure, is expected to move forward with the sale via investment bank Rothschild.

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