Abu Dhabi Investment Company buys beverage distributor

The investment firm has acquired a majority stake in the Dubai-based business and intends to expand it regionally.

Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC) has acquired a majority stake in Unitra METS Group, a specialty beverage distributor. The firm did not disclose financial details about the deal.

Founded in 1998, Unitra METS Group is the exclusive distribution partner of energy drink Red Bull in the United Arab Emirates. It is also the local distributor of water, juices and specialty drinks, such as San Pellegrino. In addition, it owns Bebida, an online door-to-door delivery service.

ADIC aims to expand Unitra METS Group’s business regionally, according to Robert Wages, executive director of ADIC Private Equity.

The investment was made out of ADIC MENA Partners, a $500 million buyout fund, which will be closed in early 2009. The fund is focused on the MENA region, Pakistan and Turkey. It will invest between $75 million and $200 million for majority stakes in regional companies.

Abu Dhabi Investment Company has committed $100 million to ADIC MENA Partners. Currently, the fund is being marketed to institutional investors and high net worth individuals, for a minimum subscription of $5 million.

Established in 1977, the Abu Dhabi Investment Company is jointly owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. It offers services such as private equity, venture capital, real estate investments, portfolio management, trade financing, commodities and securities trading.