Press Release

October 08, 2012

At Banker Middle East Industry Awards Ceremony - Gulf Capital Awarded "Best Private Equity Firm in the Middle East" For the Second Year in a Row

Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative investment firms in the Middle East, has been recognised as the “Best Private Equity Firm in the Middle East” for the second year in a row. Gulf Capital received the honour at the annual event of the prestigious Banker Middle East Industry Awards 2012 ceremony, held on June 12th in Dubai. The awards extravaganza witnessed an attendance of eminent industry experts and dignitaries from the GCC, Levant and around the world including Dr. Nasser H. Saidi, Chief Economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA) and Board Member of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The award for the “Best Private Equity Firm in Middle East” was presented to Dr Karim El Solh, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, Richard Dallas, Managing Director Private Equity along with the Private Equity team of Gulf Capital by Mr. Saleh Al Akrabi, Chairman of CPI Financial, and Mr. Adam Broom, Chief Operating Officer, CPI Financial at the gala dinner held in Dubai last night.

Commenting on receiving the accolade, Dr Karim El Solh, CEO Gulf Capital stated: “We are extremely proud to be recognised as the leading Private Equity firm in the Middle East for two years in a row.  This award reflects our achievements in recent years in the private equity arena including our status as one of the most active investment firms with a string of acquisitions to our credit in the last year, the strong and sustained growth of our portfolio companies despite a very difficult economic environment, and our profitable and successful exits over the last year”.  He further stated: “This award also recognises Gulf Capital’s emergence as the premier regional alternative asset management firm with activities across the alternative asset classes including private equity, credit and mezzanine and real estate.”

Gulf Capital has witnessed a remarkable year, concluding a number of transactions across its alternative asset classes in the past 12 months. During this period, the Firm has announced a number of marquee acquisitions, placing it at the forefront of the Private Equity industry in the region. These include Gulf Capital’s two recent transactions: the acquisition of an 82.7% stake in SES, a leading provider of temporary power generation, and the acquisition of an 80% stake in Abu Dhabi-based Reach Group, the leading contract staffing and temporary employment solutions provider for government entities. 

In another strategic development over this period, the Firm has also launched a USD $300 million Credit and Mezzanine Fund, the largest credit fund in the Middle East and Turkey, to meet the financing needs of fast growing companies across the region. The Credit Fund is off to a very positive start with a solid pipeline of transactions in growing and defensive sectors such as healthcare, education, consumer services, and oil & gas. Recently, the Fund announced the successful completion of its first two financing transactions for UAE-based SES FZCO and Turkey-based Orion Group for a total investment of USD $25 million and USD $20 million respectively.

Additionally, the real estate arm of Gulf Capital, Gulf Related, officially launched two major projects in the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently. The Firm’s 355,000 square foot luxury retail destination in Abu Dhabi, The Galleria at Sowwah Square, is set to become the leading luxury retail destination in the capital city. This landmark project is developed in conjunction with Mubadala Development Company, and is expected to raise the bar for destination dining and luxury retail environment in the UAE and the wider region. Gulf Capital and Gulf Related have also announced this month their formal entry into the Saudi Arabian real estate market and the launch of an ambitious SR1 billion investment programme in the residential real estate sector.

The last year has been one of the most active and productive years for Gulf Capital across its various asset classes.  The Firm is well positioned to become the premier alternative asset manager in the Middle East. 

Organised by CPI Financial, the Banker Middle East Awards 2012 recognised both corporate and individual distinctions amongst top performers in the industry at an event that brought together more than 400 distinguished regional and global industry experts and decision-makers to honour and celebrate excellence in the banking and finance industry.