Press Release

October 19, 2020

Gulf Capital Acquires Majority Stake in the CWB Group, a Leading Intellectual Property Services Provider in the Middle East and North Africa

Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative asset managers in the GCC, announced today that it has acquired a significant majority stake in the CWB Group (“CWB”), a leading intellectual property services provider across the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”).

Founded in 2006, CWB provides Patent and Trademark services including counseling, clearing, filing, prosecution, maintenance and enforcement services to Fortune 500 companies across the MENA region. CWB’s service offering also extends to anti-counterfeiting and commercialisation of IP. CWB works with its clients to conceive and execute strategic solutions to manage, protect and enforce their Intellectual Property (“IP”) through its seven offices and member firms in the Middle East and North Africa region. Some of the world’s most notable brand owners trust CWB to manage and protect their IP portfolios in the MENA region.

Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “The CWB Group is a leader in the registration, protection and administration of intellectual property in the Middle East. We are delighted to partner with the experienced management team at CWB to pursue an ambitious growth plan for the firm. The MENA, Africa and CIS intellectual property services market is estimated at over USD 350 million annually and is expected to grow at c. 6% per annum over the next 5 years. CWB’s quality of service is unrivalled in the MENA region, a reputation which has helped the firm gain market share as well as attract and retain some of the world’s largest brand owners.  CWB is very well positioned to continue its strong growth momentum and to expand across emerging markets.”

Halim Shehadeh, Chief Executive Officer and founder of the CWB Group, said: “We are excited to embark on this new chapter in CWB’s journey alongside Gulf Capital, an investment firm with like-minded individuals and with deep experience taking regional firms global. The intellectual property protection and services area is ever more important and complex, and at CWB we have built a solid reputation protecting our clients’ interests across the Middle East. We intend to expand rapidly into new geographies while leveraging our new partner’s experience in building global platforms out of the GCC. Our partnership with Gulf Capital is a major step towards reaching our goal of becoming the leading provider of IP services in emerging markets as we expand across new geographies, take on talented people, invest in new technologies and broaden our service offerings.”

Mohammad Madani, Managing Director at Gulf Capital, added: “Gulf Capital has been studying the intellectual property space for two years, and has identified CWB as the premier IP service provider in the MENA region. The firm has distinguished itself by helping clients to protect and manage their intellectual property across the Middle East and by delivering better business value. We look forward to working with Halim Shehadeh and his team on launching new services, leveraging new technologies and expanding CWB across emerging markets.”

Dr. El Solh concluded: “Gulf Capital has been particularly active over the last two years, with the successful closure of 10 new and follow-on investments at the portfolio companies’ level. This latest investment in CWB cements our established strategy of acquiring majority stakes in market leading companies regionally and taking them global. Building global champions that operate across growth markets in fast-growing sectors is a hallmark of Gulf Capital’s investment strategy. We are looking forward to a productive rest of the year as we maintain our investment pace and continue to work on a number of strategic new follow-on investments and exits in the near future.”