Press Release

April 07, 2015

Gulf Capital Receives "Firm of the Year" Award for Best Private Equity Company in MENA

Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative investment firms in the Middle East based in Abu Dhabi, was voted the “Firm of the Year” at the Private Equity International annual global awards. Voting was completed by thousands of industry experts and peers from all over the world, and winners were selected from an annual shortlist of four worthy candidates per category. The Private Equity International (“PEI”) long-standing Awards are based on a unique industry poll and recognise those firms whose effort and ingenuity drive the sector. The Awards are the only independent international industry awards voted for the industry, by the industry.

The Firm’s remarkable achievements in the private equity arena, its outstanding track record in exits, its successful fundraising and the significant growth of its portfolio companies, firmly cemented Gulf Capital as the “Firm of the Year” in the Middle East.

Commenting on the accolade, Dr. Karim El Solh, Gulf Capital’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is gratifying to be voted by industry peers as the “Firm of the Year” in 2014 for the MENA region. This international recognition reaffirms Gulf Capital’s regional leadership in private equity that was also recognised by Banker Middle East when the Firm won “Best Private Equity Firm” in the Middle East Awards for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Over this last year, Gulf Capital has been investing actively in both the private equity and credit and mezzanine arenas and generating some of the best exists and returns in the industry. 2015 started off with a strong momentum and we are looking forward to yet another productive year.”

Private Equity International commented on Gulf Capital’s performance: “It’s a first-time win for Abu Dhabi-headquartered Gulf Capital, and what a year the firm has had, pulling off both a highly successful fundraise and one of the most profitable transactions in the history of private equity in the Middle East. Having originally acquired an 80 percent stake in Gulf Marine Services for around $62 million in 2007, in March Gulf Capital sold a 40 percent stake through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, netting a return of 10x and returning its entire $530 million second fund in the process. Gulf Capital followed this up with the partial exit of water company Metito, reaping a 3.5x return, and the raise of GC Partners III, which smashed its $550 million cover to close on $750 million in October.”

The Private Equity International magazine covers the industry with a team of specialist journalists in London, Hong Kong and New York City who share great knowledge of the financial trends and transactions that shape the industry. The Private Equity International long-standing Awards recognise top performers in the industry on a global level.