International Finance Corporation Invests in Gulf Capital’s Second $250 million Private Debt Fund to Provide Growth Capital across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa
Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative asset managers in the Middle East, announced today that the International Financial Corporation (“IFC”) has invested US$25 million in its second Private Debt fund, GCCredit Opportunities Fund II (the “Fund”). The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is considered the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.The Fund held a first closing inJanuary 2016 and targets a final close of US$250 million (AED 925 million) by the end of the year. The Fund’s total commitments have surpassed its predecessor, together making Gulf Capital the largest private debt player in the Middle East, which in itself is a significant achievement.
Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “IFC continues to be a valuable Gulf Capital partner. We have a long history of working productively with IFC across funds and portfolio companies. This follow-on investment from IFC into our second Private Debt fund is a strong vote of confidence in Gulf Capital and will help us provide growth capital for promising small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) across the region. Gulf Capital is keen to back SMEs in the Middle East and Africa as they arehistorically the driving source of economic growth and job creation.”IFC invested in Gulf Capital’s first private debt fund and is a co-investor in a number of Gulf Capital portfolio companies including Smart Energy Solutions (SES), Metito and Carbon Holdings.
Gulf Credit Opportunities Fund II seeks to provide tailored financing solutions to mid-market companies in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey (MENAT) and Sub-Saharan Africa. Gulf Credit Partners, the manager of Gulf Capital’s private debt funds, will be investing in companies that generate revenues between $10 million and $200 million and operate in growth sectors that are consumer focused and that are defensive in nature such as the healthcare, education, power and water, F&B, and FMCGsectors amongst others. Gulf Capital invests in companies with experienced management teams anda good track record of financial performance and helps them grow further through operational improvements while strengthening their corporate governance practices.
Atul Mehta, Global Industry Head, Telecom Media Technology,Private Equity Fundsand Venture Investing at IFC said: “This is our second commitment to Gulf Capital’s private debt business and we look forward to partnering with Gulf Capital through this second Private Debt fund and through co-investments in order to provide much needed capital to SMEs. SMEs are the engine of growth and job creation across the region and it is vital that they receive the adequate level of financing and support as they become regional champions.”
Walid Cherif, Senior Managing Director for Gulf Credit Partners at Gulf Capital said: “Our growing partnership with IFC will help strengthen our position as a key provider of capital in the region, and willassist us in deliveringthe much needed long-term funding to successful SMEs in MENA, Turkey and Sub-Saharan Africa. There is an acute financing gap in our regions (estimated to be more than $250bn) with SMEs’ share of bank lending at less than 10%. SMEs in our target regionshave limited access to growth financing from traditional investors and proactive partners who add value and help them execute their business plans. The launch of our second Private Debt fund is timely as it can be a viable alternative to traditional banking sources and it can be a key financing partner for promising companies across the region.”