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Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ holds early talks to buy Lazard

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Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ has held preliminary talks to buy boutique investment bank Lazard, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring the emirate’s continued interest in acquiring a major financial institution.

Officials at the UAE’s third-largest sovereign wealth fund met with their Lazard counterparts several months ago, but discussions have stalled amid disagreements over the 175-year-old Wall Street firm’s future independence, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Fast to burst. This matter is personal.

Lazard has a market cap of about $3.6 billion and owns an asset management business that manages about $235 billion in assets globally. Its shares are down 7.4% this year.

Representatives for ADQ and Lazard declined to comment. The discussions were first reported by the Financial Times earlier on Tuesday.

After a period of rising crude prices, the capital of the United Arab Emirates is keen to use its oil revenues to further diversify its economy and play a bigger role in global finance. ADQ, a conglomerate that owns some of Abu Dhabi’s major assets, has become one of the most active entities in Abu Dhabi in recent years. In 2020, it will acquire 45% equity of Nongmao Louis Dreyfus.

The fund is chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al Nahyan, a powerful member of the royal family who is also chairman of the country’s largest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, and its largest sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Earlier this year, FAB said it had explored a bid for Standard Chartered, but it no longer planned to make an offer for the British lender. In 2022, launch an active bid to acquire the Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes for US$1.2 billion. FAB later withdrew its bid after facing lengthy regulatory delays in Egypt, Bloomberg reported.

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