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Private Equity Dealing Hits $933 Million in Mena

Middle East : 25 January 2011

Total dealings in Mena private equity were valued at $933 million last year, in comparison with a total of $680 million in 2009. The UAE is at the top recording more deals and the highest brokered value, according to a report.

Information technology saw the most private equity investments, recording seven deals, and consumer related industries and the media each had four deals. The health sector also saw three deals based on information revealed in the Al Masah Capital report.

Looking across the region, the UAE led with six deals in private equity totaling $816.5M in value. The largest deal value was finalized by Abraaj Capital of the UAE, worth a total of $554M according to the report.

In that deal Abraaj Capital acquired a stake of Network International worth 49 percent. That Dubai firm is a subsidiary of Emirate NBD, which the report stated is controlled through the holdings firm Abraaj Financial Technologies.

Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia each saw five deals, although the $109.8M value of the deals in Jordan was enormous compared to the $20 million in deals seen in Saudi Arabia and the $8.5M seen in Egypt.

There were also three deals seen in both Lebanon and Kuwait and one deal each in Bahrain and Tunisia.

Al Masah analysts state that the improvements seen within economies across the globe have been the cause of the private equity growth across the region.

Based on the report, the only firm to experience exit transactions was Global Capital Management, who offloaded investments made in Depa Limited. Depa is a key firm in interior design. Global Capital investments in Evergrande Real Estate Group were also sold.

Global Capital scored big with these exit transactions, recording a 23 percent return on the Depa investment and a 35 percent return on the Evergrande investments, according to the report.

There were also 20 IPOs (or initial public offering) within the Mena region that saw $2.7B raised in total over the 2010 fiscal year. Leading the IPO pack with nine listings was Saudi Arabia, while Tunisia recorded five and Egypt saw two.

Omani Qatari Telecommunications, based in Oman, saw the largest amount raised for the year, totaling $474.6M in a single IPO. Aluminium Bahrain pulled into second place, with the Bahrain-based company’s IPO raising $389.8M.

When looking at fund performance, the report noted that Mena had a goal of $3.8B to be raised through eleven funds that were announced. The RED (or Riyada Enterprise Development) fund from Abraaj and the Growth Capital Fund (focusing on SME) had the highest goal for funds, targeting $700 million in bids.

According to the report there were three other funds that each hoped to raise $500 million, including the ARC fund Real Estate Income, the DB Masdar fund Clean Tech and the Al Masah Mena Growth PE Fund.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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