Mubadala Development Company, an investment company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has announced its purchase of a five per cent stake in Ferrari.

Mubadala Development Company, an investment company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has announced its purchase of a five per cent stake in Ferrari.

The company acquired the stake from Mediobanca, an Italian banking group, in a R912-million deal.

"This is the first time that we, Fiat, have welcomed a non-financial institution to become a Ferrari shareholder. The key benefit of extending our shareholder base beyond traditional financial institutions will be a new opportunity for our development," said Luca di Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari and its parent company, Fiat.

"We know Mubadala is committed to being an extremely reliable, stable shareholder and partner to existing shareholders. Moreover, the strategic alliance with Mubadala, and therefore the government of Abu Dhabi, is set to bring us compelling and dynamic new strategies, especially in the Middle East and North African markets.

"Our initial areas for consideration will range from the creation and development of road and racing car testing initiatives, along with professional driving schools through to the leveraging of opportunities around brand experiences and merchandising."

His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi department of planning and economy, said, "This is a sound financial and strategic investment on numerous levels. It continues our track record of being involved with premier global companies and brands who are the leaders in their fields."

"Through Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government has a track record of investment, involvement and positive contribution to premium projects and selected companies around the world. We are therefore proud of their involvement in Ferrari," Montezemolo added.

Mubadala is wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi. Its mandate is to establish new businesses, or acquire existing businesses - either entirely or partly - to further develop Abu Dhabi's rapidly growing economy. The company invests in a range of sectors including energy, health, real estate, and services.