Waha Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based investment company, has won the "Corporate Deal of the Year" award from Banker Middle East magazine for a deal that raised $1.1 billion (approximately Dh 4 billion) for the company and also reduced balance sheet risk.
Waha Capital carried out a hedging and financing transaction in two phases in late 2014 on its stake in the world's largest aircraft leasing firm, AerCap Holdings NV, with its principal investments team leading on the deal in collaboration with other divisions within the company.
In the process, Waha Capital effectively locked in the value of its AerCap stake by limiting downside equity market risk, and raised $1.1 billion (approximately Dh 4 billion) in financing to be deployed in further investments and repayment of debt. The company also preserved significant upside potential in its AerCap stake over the three-year tenure of the transaction.
"In 2014, Waha Capital experienced its most successful year since the company's establishment nearly two decades ago, not only from the point of view of profitability, but also because we established a solid foundation for further growth," said Waha Capital Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Salem Al Noaimi.
"The hedging and financing transaction was a key element in that it helped us raise substantial funds to invest in areas with high growth potential within the region, while maintaining our prudent financial management. We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award from Banker Middle East who has recognised the uniqueness of this deal which was duly executed by our teams." Waha Capital reported a 2014 net profit of Dh 1,733 million, representing a 466% increase on the previous year, and a 51% return on equity. The company also reduced its leverage ratio to 28.2% as of 31 December 2014 from 37.9% a year earlier.
Waha Capital manages a portfolio of direct investments that are diversified across a number of sectors, including aircraft leasing, financial services, healthcare, energy, infrastructure and industrial real estate. The company looks to take majority stakes, when possible, in businesses operating in high potential sectors, occasionally in collaboration with co-investment partners.