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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Investcorp says acquires stake in US PR firm ICR

ICR senior team to retain significant majority stake in the company under the deal 

Bahrain-listed Investcorp, which is one of the largest foreign investors in US real estate, has acquired a minority stake in US communications firm ICR. Bloomberg News
Bahrain-listed Investcorp, which is one of the largest foreign investors in US real estate, has acquired a minority stake in US communications firm ICR. Bloomberg News

Investcorp, the Bahrain-based alternative investment firm with $21.3 billion in assets under management, acquired a minority stake in strategic communications and advisory firm ICR for an undisclosed sum.

Under the deal, ICR’s senior team will retain a significant ownership stake in the company, the company said in a statement on Saturday. The new partnership will focus on accelerating ICR’s growth through acquisitions and global expansion, Investcorp said.

“With its deep industry knowledge… and differentiated pairing of capital markets and communications professionals, ICR truly understands how communications strategies align with business goals and how those tie back to the value of the enterprise,” said David Tayeh, head of corporate investment North America at Investcorp.

Bahrain-listed Investcorp was founded in 1982. Since its inception, it has made over 170 corporate investments in the US, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa – including Turkey – across a range of industry sectors. It has also made more than 450 commercial and residential real estate investments in the US, exceeding a total investment value of $55bn.

US-headquartered ICR specialises in investor relations, public relations, crisis and special situations communications, digital media, and capital advisory. It has 186 staff and works with more than 550 clients across its five offices in the US and China.

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“In today’s world, [our work] is becoming even more important given the adverse consequences associated with poor stakeholder communications,” said Tom Ryan, co-founder and chief executive of ICR.

“This environment has created new opportunities for ICR to expand its services and reach.”

Investcorp is in the process of expanding its client coverage and product lines as part of a strategy to boost assets under management in the coming years through acquisitions and organic growth.

The firm plans to exit at least three companies over the next 12 months and is eyeing $5 billion investments each year, its co-chief executive Rishi Kapoor told The National in December.

The company, which counts Abu Dhabi strategic firm Mubadala Investment Company as its largest shareholder with a 20 per cent stake, is focusing on exits in the Arabian Gulf, the US and Europe, Mr Kapoor said at the time.

Last week, the company appointed a new chief financial officer, Jan Erik Back. He joins the firm from SEB, a Nordic financial services group where he served as executive vice-president and chief financial officer.

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