Abu Dhabi-based buyout firm Gulf Capital is looking to invest in 10-12 companies over five years with the launch of its third private equity fund of $750 million, its chief executive said on Sunday.
“We are making offers and talking to companies… we can move very quickly and close deals because we’ve raised the funds,” Karim El Solh said.
El Solh said the sectors the company is looking to invest in are power and water, oil and gas, healthcare and education as well as companies that will profit from government spending.
Gulf Capital, with total assets of $3.3 billion, invests an average $60-75 million in each company and tends to buy partnerships that support rather than replace existing management.
Solh said 60 per cent of the external investors in Gulf Capital’s new fund are from the United States, Europe and Asia and include sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.
Gulf Capital however, will be the anchor investor – it tends to be the largest investor in all of its funds at about 25-30 per cent contribution.
As for its second private equity fund, the firm said 92 per cent of $533 million had been invested and had generated a net internal rate of return of 25 per cent as of June 30.
Private equity in the Middle East suffered a difficult time at the end of the last decade, as challenging global and domestic market conditions left some unable to exit investments without major losses.
The economic rebound both locally and internationally has revived deal making in the last two years, with many now divesting stakes and looking for new opportunities.
El Solh said Gulf Capital, which also has real estate development and credit units, may announce a revolving debt facility or tap the equity market to raise funds for its investments.
Sources told Reuters in July that Gulf Capital is looking to sell shares to the public