Gulf Capital Raises Record AED 1.75 billion Private Equity Fund from International Markets
Gulf Capital, a leading GCC Private Equity firm, today announced that it has received capital commitments for its latest private equity fund, GC Equity Partners II, of approximately AED 1.75 billion (US$ 476 million.) This is the first ever regional private equity Fund to derive the majority of its investors (more than two thirds) from international markets including USA, Europe, Asia and the GCC.
The fund raising of Gulf Capital’s latest buy-out flagship Fund, which received a strong level of support from existing shareholders and global investors since it was launched in the second half of 2008, has a target of AED 2 billion (US$500 million). Gulf Capital committed more than AED 550 million (US$150 million) to the Fund. A high subscription rate has been recorded three months ahead of the Fund expected closing at the end of July 2009, with 85% of the capital committed to date.
Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “We are particularly gratified both by the size of our latest fund raising efforts and by the quality of international and regional investors attracted. This strong traction and level of commitment is a powerful endorsement of the Gulf Capital franchise, at a time when raising capital has been extremely difficult for almost any type of investment.”
The Fund, launched in conjunction with Credit Suisse Alternative Investments, will continue Gulf Capital’s proven strategy of buying late-stage control stakes in established, market-leaders in the GCC. Target industries for the Fund include oil & gas, power and water, healthcare, education, logistics and other services.
“Our strategy to acquire control of portfolio companies and build value through strong operational focus and profitability enhancement, ensures the protection and growth of our investments irrespective of market conditions. Investors are increasingly gravitating towards this investment style,” added Dr. El Solh.
“More than 60% of GC Equity Partners II investors are from outside the GCC region, a particularly satisfying trend highlighting Gulf Capital’s ability to attract global funds to the GCC,” said Muhannad Qubbaj, Managing Director of Business Development at Gulf Capital. “They include some of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies and financial institutions in Asia, Europe, the US and the GCC, many of whom have studied the region and decided to invest in it for the first time through Gulf Capital’s flagship Fund.”
Dr Karim El-Solh said: “This is a clear vote of confidence in our focused investment approach, our strong private equity team and its track record.”
Muhannad Qubbaj added: “Raising capital for this Fund is enjoying considerable momentum despite the difficult economic environment and we intend to take our GC Equity Partners II Fund size to well-above the AED2 billion mark by the closing date.”
“The Gulf region is still enjoying significant growth and we expect it will lead the global recovery along with China and India. It is a particularly good time to invest in the GCC region, given the prevalent low company valuations, increasing oil prices, improving macro fundamentals and the resilient nature of the regional economies,” concluded Dr. El Solh.