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Adnoc and G42 plan IPO of AI joint venture  

AIQ is being considered for a possible initial public offering by year-end

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Abu Dhabi artificial intelligence (AI) company G42 are having early discussions about a possible flotation of their joint venture technology firm AIQ, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

AIQ, which is 60 percent owned by Adnoc and 40 percent by G42, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimise processes, improve planning and increase profitability for Adnoc and the wider oil and gas industry.

The company is being considered for a possible initial public offering at the end of the year, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.

AIQ’s owners are in the process of discussing whether to position the deal as an international transaction, or market the offering exclusively to the domestic investors, they said.

AIQ recently hired veteran investment banker Youssef Salem as chief financial officer, the sources said. Salem worked at Moelis & Co for five years and held numerous positions at the US boutique bank until 2021. He was then appointed as an external senior advisor to the bank until April this year.

Adnoc, which supplies nearly three percent of global oil demand, declined to comment. G42, which is backed by Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co, AIQ and Salem did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shares of artificial intelligence firms have helped lead an equity rally in the US market this year after US firm OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, a chatbot that gives strikingly human-like responses to user queries, snagged a multi-billion dollar investment from Microsoft Corp.

G42 is part of a business empire overseen by its chair, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the UAE’s national security adviser and has been a foreign policy troubleshooter for his brother, President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Adnoc began floating units in 2017. It listed its gas business in March after raising $2.5 billion from the IPO, which was the world’s biggest in the first quarter. Its logistics subsidiary was also listed earlier this month, with its order book reaching over $125 billion.