DUBAI Jan 1 Bahrain-based investment firm Asma
Capital has agreed to buy a stake in the water business of
private United Arab Emirates utility company Utico in a deal
worth $147 million, the companies said on Sunday.
Asma is buying "a significant minority stake", they said
without revealing the exact size. The deal includes equity and
project finance and will be completed in the first quarter of
The purchase is being conducted through the IDB
Infrastructure Fund II, which is managed by Asma Capital. Asma
is owned by sovereign institutions including Islamic Development
Bank, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and Public Pension
Agency, and the ministries of finance of Bahrain and Brunei.
Asma aims to invest further with Utico in its other projects
and businesses, Asma said without elaborating. Utico, which has
investments in the UAE, said it hoped to become involved in
projects overseas; in August, it announced it would invest about
$185 million to more than double its water desalination capacity
in two years.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Adrian Croft)