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UAE’s Gulf Capital eyes acquisitions, plans new fund

UAE’s Gulf Capital eyes acquisitions, plans new fund

The private equity firm bought a 70 per cent stake in health aesthetics firm Medica

Gulf Capital said on Monday it had bought a majority stake in health aesthetics firm Medica Holding and was looking for more acquisitions in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

UAE-based private equity firm Gulf Capital bought a 70 per cent stake in Medica, which provides aesthetics, cosmetics and dermatology equipment and products in the Middle East. It did not disclose the deal value.

“We are willing to fund any bolt-on acquisitions. We are looking at two acquisitions in the Gulf, a joint venture in Africa and also in southeast Asia,” Karim el Solh, chief executive of Gulf Capital, told Reuters.

“The deal is an intersection of consumer spending and healthcare, sectors that are growing very fast,” he said, declining to give the deal value.

The $10bn health aesthetics market is projected to grow at 10 per cent annually over the next five years, while it is growing at 15 per cent annually in the Gulf, he said.

Investments in acquisitions will be made from Gulf Capital’s third private equity fund worth $750m, which still has a third of its cash to be deployed.

Gulf Capital is also planning to launch its fourth private equity fund this year worth more than $750m as the firm eyes three to five new deals over the next 12 months, he said, adding the firm was working on exiting three investments.

The company was looking at sectors such as healthcare, payments, e-commerce, fintech and education, he said.

In the last 18 months, Gulf Capital did eight new deals and made five exits, with proceeds from exits almost equalling the capital deployed, he said.

Gulf Capital now has expanded its private equity team to 22 and will be hiring two more for its private debt team, he said.

With $3bn in assets under management, Gulf Capital is one of the largest private equity players in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Dubai-based Abraaj Capital had been the biggest private equity player in the region until it collapsed last year after a dispute with investors.

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