Samena Capital To Invest In Two Middle East Deals Post RAK Ceramics Buy

The investment firm is looking at six deals in total in the Middle East, out of which it expects to close two of them soon.



Investment firm Samena Capital is looking to close two deals in the Middle East following its recent purchase of a 31 per cent stake in UAE-based RAK Ceramics, a top executive said.

“We are definitely going to be doing more deals which will probably be announced in the next 60 to 90 days,” said Shirish Saraf, founder and vice chairman, Samena Capital.

“They are private equity deals and fairly sizeable businesses across the board. We are also looking at buy and build opportunities within our existing portfolio…we are very much in an investment mode.”

Saraf said that the group is looking at a total of six deals in the region but the two aforementioned are confirmed to be closing soon.

He did not specify any sectors that the investment firm might direct their funds to, but said that some of the most attractive areas for investment are logistics and consumer-based businesses.

Saraf added that Samena Capital will be looking at raising funds but it might not happen in the immediate future.

“We are still in the capital deployment mode and we are also returning 70 per cent of the capital on our first fund. We will look to return capital on the second fund before we can raise money around the third fund,” he said.

“The key for us is to deploy the capital and add value in our existing companies. We need to generate sufficient returns and add value in the existing portfolio companies and that is where our focus is on currently.”

Samena Capital is also planning to be a long-term investor in RAK Ceramics in which it recently bought a stake through a consortium.

“We are looking for a three to five year play here in terms of taking the company to the next level,” said Saraf.

“Opportunities are immense as it is a very diversified company, has a great footprint for manufacturing capability and is definitely a place where we can offer insights and further help in adding value.

“There is a lot of growth potential to unlock…the attention of the management in the last few years has rightly been on the core businesses. But with time Samena can also look at unlocking value in the non-core businesses whether through disposals, strategic buy-ins, other initiatives…there are a multiple range of options that are being considered along those lines,” he said.

The company is expecting a return of 25 to 30 per cent from its investment in RAK Ceramics, Saraf added.

Samena Capital also recently invested in Hong Kong-based Alliance Global Logistics and in Mahindra Two Wheelers, which is part of the Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group.