** Viewpoints will be publishing a routine round-up of the most notable, newsworthy dealmaking events in the GCC and beyond.
This week’s edition features notable dealmaking news in the the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) over the last seven days. This week’s highlights are ADNOC’s joint venture with Wanhua Chemical Group, Kuwait’s pension fund announcing changes to its investment strategy and GEMS Education’s most recent debt finance fundraising round.
ADNOC / Wanhua joint venture
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) shipping division (ADNOC Logistics & Services) has launched its joint venture with China’s Wanhua Chemical Group. The 10-year joint venture, which was entered into in July 2019, aims to create downstream opportunities for both China and the United Arab Emirates. The joint venture is in line with ADNOC’s strategy to pivot some of its business to partners in East Asia.
Kuwait’s pension fund to boost investment in infrastructure and private equity
Kuwait’s USD 112 Billion pension fund, the Public Institution for Social Security is planning investments in infrastructure and private equity, following a revamp in its management and investment strategy. According to Raed Al-Nisf, PIFFS’ deputy general manager for investments and operations, PIFSS aims to invest 12% to 17% of its portfolio in real estate, between 8% and 13% in private equity, and between 3% and 10% in infrastructure. PIFSS is the second largest sovereign investor in Kuwait (after the Kuwait Investment Authority).
GEMS USD 150 Million Fundraising:
GEMS Education, a private schools operator based in the United Arab Emirates, has raised USD 150 Million in debt, from newly issued senior-secured bonds due in July 2026. The funds are intended to reinforce working capital needs. GEMS Education operates more than 250 schools in 13 countries, and is considered a well-regarded choice for quality private education in the Middle East and North Africa.