Press Release

December 15, 2011

Gulf Capital and Amwal AlKhaleej Win the Prestigious Private Equity “Deal of the Year” Award For The MIS Deal

Gulf Capital and Amwal AlKhaleej, two leading regional alternative investment firms, were voted the winners of the Private Equity “Deal of the Year” Award for 2011 by banking and finance experts and industry peers at the Private Equity World MENA Conference held recently in Dubai.

The leading investors in Maritime Industrial Services (MIS), Gulf Capital and Amwal AlKhaleej completed a trade sale of 100% of MIS in July 2011 to Lamprell, a regional strategic investor for US $ 336 million, representing a multiple of cost of over 2x.

The MIS exit won the Private Equity “Deal of the Year” for 2011 at the 7th Private Equity World MENA Conference, which was attended by institutional investors and Private Equity professionals from the GCC, Levant, and around the world. The sale of MIS caps a holding period of almost five years by both Gulf Capital and Amwal AlKhaleej, during which revenues and profits were increased by 203% and 184% respectively. 

Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital said: “MIS represents a solid case study for the Middle Eastern private equity industry. This is a good example of how private equity firms can add real value to their portfolio companies by growing operations, bringing in new management leadership, executing bolt-on acquisitions, launching regional and product expansions, paying down debt and boosting profitability ahead of consummating a successful sale to a trade buyer.”

Commenting on the award, Mr Ammar AlKhudairy, Managing Partner of Amwal AlKhaleej said: “We are very pleased to receive this award in conjunction with Gulf Capital. The MIS deal was based on an investment priced at pre-crisis levels and over the five years of our holding period, we were definitely up against some very challenging market conditions including low investor sentiment. Yet, by sticking to the fundamentals of good pricing, managing portfolios carefully and finding a strategic fit for the exit we were able to conclude the MIS transaction in a way that has benefited all stakeholders.”

Dr Karim El Solh and Mr Samer Sarraf, Senior Vice President, Amwal AlKhaleej received the award at the Private Equity World MENA Conference gala dinner. Dr El Solh added, “It is a great honour for the MIS Exit Deal completed by Gulf Capital and Amwal AlKhaleej to be selected for the Private Equity ‘Deal of the Year’. The Award recognises our sound joint-investment strategy and our strong focus on operational improvements which enabled us to generate substantial returns through a sharp rise in MIS’s profitability and subsequent successful trade sale.”

Mr. Ammar AlKhudairy concluded: “This transaction shows how two private equity firms can harmoniously co-invest to the mutual benefit of all. At the same time, we would like to take this opportunity to wish the management of MIS the very best as they embark on a new development phase.”

Organised by Terrapinn, the Private Equity Awards recognized both corporate and individual distinctions amongst the industry at an event that had a prominent speaker-line up of equity experts, region’s leading family offices, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), private equity funds and more. Private Equity World MENA 2011 brings together industry experts to share best practice.

About Gulf Capital : []
Gulf Capital is a leading alternative asset management firm. Its investors are focused primarily on investing capital in the GCC region. Incorporated in Abu Dhabi in 2006 as a Private Joint Stock Company, Gulf Capital was established with a capital base of AED 1.225 billion from 300 of the most prestigious institutional and individual investors in the Gulf.  Gulf Capital investors are focused on acquiring sizeable and majority stakes in highly profitable and rapidly growing companies within a select number of fast-growing industries in the GCC region.  Gulf Capital recently expanded its alternative asset management platform by entering into the real estate development arena in a joint-venture with the Related Companies, the most prominent US real estate developer, to form Gulf Related. The Firm also recently announced the launch of a Credit Business and a $300 million Credit Opportunities Fund to meet the financing needs of fast growing companies across the region. With its private equity, real estate and credit initiatives, Gulf Capital is today one of the largest alternative asset managers in the Middle East.

About Amwal AlKhaleej : []
Amwal AlKhaleej is a leading alternative investment firm with approximately USD 700 million of assets under management. The Firm started its operations in 2005 in Riyadh with offices in Dubai and Cairo and its team includes some of the most experienced investment professionals in the region. The Firm has investments in several high calibre companies including Rowad Schools, Gulf Insulation Group, Maritime Industrial Services (exited), Arab Cotton Ginning, Al-Tayyar Travel Group, Dubai Contracting Group and Contact Cars.