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Carlyle buys stake in Saudi lighting firm

Riyadh, March 29, 2010

Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group has announced the acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in Saudi Arabia’s largest lighting fixtures manufacturer and supplier, General Lighting Company (GLC).

Bank Audi provided financing for this transaction that was closed on Monday, said a statement from Carlyle Group.

The equity for this investment, Carlyle's third in the Mena region, will come from Carlyle Mena Partners, a growth capital and buyout fund that closed in March 2009.

Carlyle is the first and only global private equity firm to have a fund dedicated purely to the Mena region. The GLC stake is the fund’s second transaction in three months following the investment in Medical Park, Turkey’s second largest healthcare group, in December 2009 and its first in the GCC, said a top official.

Abdullah Al-Hobayb, chairman and co-owner of GLC, said, 'We are exceptionally proud of the company's achievements to date and believe Carlyle's institutional support will facilitate our plans for expansion and further enhance the world class products and services we provide.'

GLC manufactures a broad range of indoor, outdoor, and industrial lighting products. In addition GLC represents leading international lighting brands, and provides complete lighting solutions to its clients.

The Saudi group is a leader in the lighting industry in the Middle East supplying products to institutions in the private as well as the public sectors.

Walid Musallam, Carlyle managing director and head of Carlyle Mena, said, 'GLC is the uncontested, leading lighting provider in the Middle East whose market position and strong brands have been built on decades of performance and positive working relationships.'

'We are delighted to have made our first investment in Saudi Arabia and second in the Mena region in just three months. We look forward to supporting GLC in achieving its expansion ambitions,' he added.

The GCC region, holding the world’s fifth largest GDP, has seen increased economic development in recent years and continues to have strong growth projections.

By making targeted and strategic investments into regional companies, Carlyle has demonstrated its commitment to investing in the growth and development of this dynamic and vital part of the global economy.

In addition to injecting capital, Carlyle is also able to local provide local and regional companies with years of experience and access to the resources of a globally diversified private equity firm not previously available to them.

Firas Nasir, managing director responsible for GCC investments within Carlyle Mena Partners, said, 'We look forward to applying Carlyle’s post-transaction expertise to help create value at GLC.'

'Having completed over 900 international investments in the past 22 years, Carlyle can be an effective partner for family groups within the Kingdom and throughout the Gulf,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi | Stake | Carlyle Group | lighting fixtures | General Lighting Company |

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