x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Dh700 million acquisition strategy for Dubai's Masharie

A Dh700 million investment spree is planned by the private equity arm of Dubai Investments as Masharie plans to acquire a number of companies in 2011.

The private equity arm of Dubai Investments, one of the emirate's largest publicly listed investment firms, is looking to invest up to Dh700 million (US$190.5m) to acquire up to seven regional companies over the next year.

Abdulaziz al Serkal, the chief executive of Masharie, expects to close three of those deals this month for companies in the health care, education and oil and gas sectors.

Masharie's investment strategy comes on the heels of a recent surge of buyout activity among the region's private equity firms.

Last week, Abraaj Capital purchased 49 per cent of Emirates NBD's payment-processing business for Dh2bn in one of the largest private-equity transactions in the UAE in recent years.

Yesterday, Masharie announced it was selling a 50 per cent stake in Syscom Emirates, a telecommunications system integrator, to Inteltec Emirates, a subsidiary of Riyadh-based Saudi Inteltec.

Mr al Serkal declined to disclose the financial details of the stake sale but said that the proceeds will go towards its upcoming investments.

"What we are more looking at is more acquistions than exiting [companies]," Mr al Serkal said.

"We have about six to seven projects in the pipeline with three of them currently active that might [close] this month."