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Abu Dhabi's Gulf Capital, Waha Capital have held early merger talks -sources

By Hadeel Al Sayegh and Stanley Carvalho

DUBAI/ABU DHABI, May 8 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi investment firms Gulf Capital and Waha Capital have held exploratory discussions regarding a merger, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The talks have taken place over the last few months and may or may not lead to a deal, the sources said.

Private equity firm Gulf Capital manages over $4 billion in assets.

Waha Capital's portfolio of investments includes stakes in aviation leasing firm AerCap Holdings, a major Middle East and North African oil and gas services provider and industrial real estate.

Abu Dhabi's state fund Mubadala has a minority stake in Waha Capital and Abu Dhabi Investment Council, a unit of Mubadala, is a shareholder in Gulf Capital.

Lower oil prices and government spending have spurred mergers and acquisitions in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Waha Capital and Mubadala Investment Company, a shareholder in Waha, declined to comment. Gulf Capital did not respond to an email seeking comment. (Editing by Saeed Azhar and Jason Neely)