A private equity joint venture created by US investment company Paladin Capital Group and Abu Dhabi-based Invest AD, plans to launch a $100 million fund in the MENA region, the companies said in a statement on Monday.
“The fund will tap growing global investor interest in new emerging markets growth opportunities,” the statement said.
“Small and medium-size companies are the backbone of the region’s economy, and they are hungry for capital to expand, operationally and geographically, in the process creating jobs and increasing profits,” said Michael Steed, founder and managing partner of Paladin Capital Group. said in the statement.
“As they move to the next level, their prospects are excellent, given that MENA economies are set on a strong growth trajectory, and are performing well considering the uncertain global backdrop,” he said.
Several private equity funds are now eyeing the rapidly expanding SME industry in the region.
Earlier this year, Abraaj Capital, the region’s largest private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Aureos Capital, a global private equity fund management group investing in SMEs across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The acquisition brought Aureos together with Abraaj’s existing $650 million SME platform, Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), which is focused on the MENA region.
The transaction aimed to create the world’s largest SME focused private equity group targeting investment opportunities across Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.