Press Release

February 07, 2010

Gulf Capital and Credit Suisse announce agreement in principle to launch Alliance in the Middle East

Gulf Capital (“GC”), one of the most active Gulf private equity firms, and Credit Suisse, one of the world’s largest alternative asset managers with $155 billion in alternative managed assets, announced today an agreement in principle to launch a long-term strategic alliance focused on investing in the fast-growing Gulf and Middle Eastern economies. The Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) countries, with an average GDP growth rate of 6.3% and a robust population growth rate of 3.5% over the past five years, (amongst the highest in the world) provide an ideal backdrop for investing in the region. As a strong sign of their commitment to the alliance, Gulf Capital and Credit Suisse will commit a significant amount of investment capital to the alliance.

Commenting on the far-reaching partnership, Mr. Waleed Zahid, Vice Chairman of Gulf Capital said: “We are delighted to partner with such an esteemed global institution. Credit Suisse, one of the world’s largest alternative asset managers, is the ideal partner to help us co-manage this venture. Credit Suisse’s long-term partnership with Gulf Capital and its investment in the venture are a strong testament of its commitment to the region.”

Brian Finn, Chairman of Credit Suisse’s Alternative Investments business said: “We are very pleased with this alliance as it brings out the best of each party: Gulf Capital’s on-the-ground presence, unique access to proprietary deal flow, proven investment expertise and post-acquisition skills, combined with Credit Suisse’s strength in managing private equity and alternative assets and regional and global investment and private banking capabilities. The combination of our local and global capabilities will help us create a superior investment platform. We look forward to working with the Gulf Capital team and their investors and partners throughout the region.”

Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, concluded: “This alliance comes at an exciting time in the history of Gulf Capital. The Firm has been very acquisitive in recent years and has bought market leaders in the water, oil & gas, telecom, construction and education sectors, some of the fastest growing industries in the region. The launch of this alliance with Credit Suisse will enable us to continue our investing momentum and to target larger acquisitions in the region. Of particular help to us will be Credit Suisse’s expertise in leveraged buy-outs, its global footprint, financial strength and award-winning debt and equity franchise in the Middle East. This strategic alliance will allow us to capitalize rapidly on the unprecedented regional investment opportunities and to firmly establish Gulf Capital as the premier alternative asset manager in the GCC.”