Invest AD, an investment bank owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, is teaming up with a Japanese company to launch a $100 million buyout fund focused on Turkey.
The joint venture between Invest AD and Japan's SBI Holdings will be the second for the two companies after they set up a $100m Africa fund last year. Each of the two parties will contribute $50m to the new Turkey fund, according to a statement.
"We're developing a strong long-term interest in Turkey, a strategically important country in the region which has seen robust economic growth in the last 10 years," said Nazem Fawwaz al Kudsi, the chief executive of Invest AD.
Invest AD already has an interest in Turkey through its existing private equity funds. The company in 2009 bought part of EKOL Logistics, which handles shipments of goods between Turkey and Europe.
Buyout companies in the Middle East have been enamoured of Turkish investments for some years, thanks to its steady economic growth and close trade ties with Europe. Abraaj Capital, the region's biggest private equity firm, has investments there, as do a number of other regional investors.
Economic growth in Turkey last year hit 8.2 per cent, according to IMF figures. The IMF estimates growth this year at 4.6 per cent.
For SBI, the partnership will yield access to Invest AD's experience in the region, said Yoshitaka Kitao, SBI's chief executive. The companies plan to open an office in Istanbul to run the fund.
"We're looking to expand SBI Group's asset management activities across the world through partners with on-the-ground expertise," Mr Kitao said, adding that he had a "strong belief" in Turkey's economic prospects.
Invest AD and SBI are eyeing investments in the consumer goods, food, retail, services and health care sectors, and may bring in outside investors to participate in selected deals.