Private-equity firm Gulf Capital weighs up Abu Dhabi listing
Gulf Capital has sought advice about an initial public offering as the private equity firm assesses options about how to fund its future growth.
The Abu Dhabi-based alternative asset manager hired advisers including National Bank of Abu Dhabi to examine the possibility of a sale on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Karim El Solh, the chief executive and managing partner of private equity at Gulf Capital, declined to comment on the matter.
No buyout firms feature on the UAE exchanges, which are heavily dominated by property and construction companies and some banks and other financial services firms.
Citadel Capital, which is listed on the Egyptian bourse, is one of the few private equity companies, to have completed an IPO in the region.
“Private equity companies tend to be more attractive for long-term institutional investors than retail investors because the underlying investment of private equity companies are usually longer term,” said Ali El Adou, the portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi.
After a long drought in the wake of the global financial crisis, interest in selling shares in the UAE has rekindled as valuations improve and more liquidity pours into local bourses.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index is up 20.1 per cent so far this year.
Gulf Capital has been among the most active of private equity funds in recent months.
Earlier this month, it said it was selling 32 per cent of its stake in the utility company Metito Holdings to Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Japanese companies.
In March it generated gains of more than US$600 million after another of the companies in its portfolio, Gulf Marine Services, completed an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
The same month, Mr El Solh said 80 per cent of Gulf Capital’s GCC Equity Partners II Fund, which was set up in 2009, was invested but that there was scope for two more transactions within “defensive sectors” such as health care and food and water.
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Updated: July 17, 2014 04:00 AM