Abraaj fund posts $1.2bn in second closing
Dubai, October 17, 2007
Abraaj Capital has announced a record $1.2 billion second closing of its Infrastructure and Growth Capital Fund (IGCF).
It provides the fund with total commitments of $1.7 billion as of September 30, 2007. The first closing of IGCF yielded $500 million by December 31, 2006, said a Abraaj official.
IGCF, which is expected to be capped at $2 billion upon final closing before the end of 2007, is now the largest private equity fund in history focused on the MENASA region. The international fund-raising efforts were led by Deutsche Bank, which is also a partner in IGCF.
Abraaj, the premier investment firm specialising in private equity investment in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, has already made five investments for IGCF during 2007, including a strategic pre-IPO stake in Air Arabia, the first and leading low-cost carrier in the MENA region; the 100 per cent acquisition of Egyptian Fertilisers Company (EFC), which was the largest private equity-led leveraged buyout in the history of the MENA region; a strategic stake in Global Education Management Systems (GEMS), the leading K-12 education provider in the Middle East; and a strategic stake in Acibadem, Turkey's leading healthcare operator.
Using its own corporate resources, Abraaj and its co-investors have made investments totaling over $1.4 billion, of which the IGCF component comes to approximately $800 million. As a result, almost 40 per cent of IGCF was invested even before the second closing, providing a huge potential upside to investors.
'Over the past few months, Abraaj has been delighted by the response from the investor community in Asia, Europe, North America and across the MENASA region, including pension funds, family offices, university endowments, insurance companies and financial institutions,' said CEO of Abraaj Capital, Arif Naqvi.
'In fact, 92 per cent of the total cash raised comes from such institutional investors. Based on our track record and our unrivalled access to deal flows across the region - and the particular appeal of IGCF - we secured $1.2 billion in fresh commitments to the fund, profoundly broadening our investor base with 30 per cent of those commitments coming from outside the MENASA region,' he added.
The key targeted sectors for the fund include: education, transportation, ports, healthcare, power and utilities, oil and gas, petrochemicals and industrials. The investment opportunities in these sectors exceed well over $630 billion, according to 'The Infrastructure Investment Requirements of the MENASA Region,' an Abraaj Capital research report. - TradeArabia News Service