Empower buys out Palm Utilities, Palm DC for $500m

Deal creates the biggest district cooling firm in world by capacity

Eng Hamad Buamim (front left) of Dubai World signs the merger agreement with Empower CEO HE Ahmad Bin Shafar (front right)
Eng Hamad Buamim (front left) of Dubai World signs the merger agreement with Empower CEO HE Ahmad Bin Shafar (front right)

Empower has announced that it has bought out Palm Utilities and Palm District Cooling, in a deal worth $500m, from Istithmar World.

The deal will be one of the biggest carried out in the district cooling industry.

Empower is a joint venture between Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and TECOM Investments, which is partof Dubai Holding. Palm Utilities and Palm District Cooling's parent, Istithmar World, is an investment company owned by Dubai World.

The deal will be funded by a mix of equity and debt funding.

HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, board member of Dubai World and director-general of HH The Ruler’s Court, said: "This deal is extremely important for Dubai because it sheds light on an emerging industry that offers many investment opportunities."

Empower CEO HE Ahmad Bin Shafar, added: "This deal will position Empower as the leader in district cooling on a regional and international level. It will also increase the company’s market share in the UAE to about 70%, in addition to increasing its capacity to around one million refrigeration tonnes (RT) and therefore the company becomes the largest district cooling provider in the world from a capacity perspective."

Empower will immediately take over all assets, liabilities, contracts and projects run by Palm Utilities, which provides district cooling to many Nakheel-owned master communities such as Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Village, Discovery Gardens and  Ibn Battuta shopping mall. It also covers Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

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