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Mubadala mulls media and pharma investments

The COO of one of the world’s most influential state investment funds, Mubadala tells Euromoney exclusively that it is looking to expand into media and pharmaceuticals

Abu Dhabi state investment and development firm Mubadala is considering investments in media and pharmaceuticals, COO Waleed Al Muhairi tells Euromoney.


In an interview in Abu Dhabi, Al Muhairi says the firm is looking to media, partly because of a growing media content industry within Abu Dhabi. He says the pharmaceutical industry is a potential area of focus because of a desire to develop innovation-driven and knowledge-intensive industries in the emirate.


Mubadala manages assets of around $27 billion in eight existing sector units including stakes in General Electric and private equity group Carlyle in the US. Its mandate is to seek local social and economic benefit as well as financial returns from its investments, including in strategic equity abroad. Compared to more financially focused Gulf state funds, Mubadala’s approach is increasingly relevant after the regional political upheaval.


“One of the things that we would strongly consider is whether we could develop a comparative advantage [in pharmaceuticals] here in Abu Dhabi, upon which to build a foundation. So if we believe that we can do that, and make money [in pharmaceuticals] then the chances are that we will expand pharmaceuticals into one of our verticals,” says Al Muhairi.


In terms of Abu Dhabi’s media industry he says: “[As] media is becoming more interesting from an Abu Dhabi-agenda perspective, we look at it, and we ask: ‘Is there an area that we can deploy capital into - either creating new businesses, or supporting some of the businesses that Abu Dhabi already has - in a manner that is consonant with our vision?’” 


Related coverage:

Mubadala unveils bank-relationship strategy
1 September 2011


Major Middle East state investment fund increases emerging markets exposure
2 September 2011


For more, check out the September edition of Euromoney to hear from Mubadala’s senior management about the firm’s evolution.


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