What Is the Mubadala Development Company?

The Mubadala Development Company is a sovereign wealth fund established in 2002 as a public joint-stock company by the government of Abu Dhabi, which remains its sole shareholder. Its mandate is economic diversification and creating sustainable financial returns for Abu Dhabi. It accomplishes this through local, direct international, and globally diversified investments. The company makes investments in these asset classes: private, public, cash, real estate and infrastructure, alternatives, and credit.

As of 2017, the Mubadala Development Company operates as the Mubadala Investment Company. The company has five global offices—including offices in Abu Dhabi, London, New York, and San Francisco—and has made investments in businesses in over 50 countries. It has approximately $232.2 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Key Takeaways

  • The Mubadala Development Company is a sovereign wealth fund established in 2002 as a public joint-stock company by the government of Abu Dhabi, which remains its sole shareholder.
  • As of 2017, the Mubadala Development Company now operates as the Mubadala Investment Company.
  • The Mubadala Development Company strategy focuses on long-term, capital-intensive projects that deliver strong financial results and tangible social benefits to Abu Dhabi.
1:10

What Are Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs)?

Understanding the Mubadala Development Company

The Mubadala Development Company strategy focused on long-term, capital-intensive projects that deliver strong financial results and tangible social benefits to Abu Dhabi. Mubadala has a diverse portfolio, with investments in several sectors, including aerospace, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, real estate, and hospitality and services.

The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, known as the founding father of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), founded the Mubadala Investment Company. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan began channeling the funds of the newly-discovered oil resources of Adu Dhabi in the 1950s into investments that the country needed, such as hospitals and schools to benefit the country in the future.

To continue the efforts to manage the petroleum wealth of the country, the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) was founded in 1984. Then, in 2002, the Mubadala Development Company was created. Both entities acted globally as investment agencies. The third evolution of the investment strategy happened in 2017, when the Mubadala Investment Company was created.

Mubadala is the second-largest sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi and the third-largest fund in the UAE.

As of 2021, the Mubadala Investment Company works in over 50 countries globally. The company’s investments are diverse; they include everything from natural resources to airline partnerships to recycling facilities.

Significant Investments of the Mubadala Development Company

Over the years, the Mubadala Investment Company has made many significant investments. For example, one of the organization’s first investments was in Cepsa, a leading integrated energy company in Spain. Cepsa is now one of the single largest producers of raw materials for household essentials, such as detergents and personal care products, in the entire world. Cepsa has more than 11,000 employees working in eight countries.

In 2017, Mubadala Investment Company contributed to the satellite-manufacturing company Yahsat. At the time, Yahsat was in the process of launching its third satellite, Al Yah 3. In February 2018, the company announced that it had launched the satellite into orbit. The new satellite will bring Ka-band coverage to a large new market of over 19 areas, including many in Africa, the Middle East, South West Asia, and Brazil, and provide affordable Internet access. The goal was to provide satellite broadband Internet access to everyone, from governments and enterprises to end-users at home.

Since 2008, Mubadala Investment Company has made significant investments in advanced technology, including investments in autonomous technologies. In March 2020, Mubadala, along with investors Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Magna International, and Andreessen Horowitz, invested in Waymo, a self-driving technology company owned by the parent company of Google, Alphabet. This was in addition to Mubadala's existing strong portfolio of technology companies.

In November 2020, Mubadala, as part of an investor consortium (including HarbourVest Partners and Northwestern Mutual), acquired a majority stake in the U.K. life sciences company Envision Pharma Group. Envision helps biopharmaceutical and medical device companies commercialize new compounds through medical strategy and communications. The company was founded in 2001 and adds to Mubadala's pharma interests, which also includes PCI Pharma Services, a supply chain solutions provider for the pharma industry; VIR Biotechnology, which is developing a potential treatment for COVID-19; Innovaccer, a San Francisco-based healthcare tech company, and Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a company specializing in re-engineering drug discovery through digital biology.