Abraaj plans more exits from Gulf investments

Abraaj, a buyout firm focused on emerging markets, plans to exit more Gulf investments after selling a stake in an Egyptian medical business last month.

“We’ve a significant portfolio of assets in the Gulf region that we’re focused on exiting over the next 12-18 months,” Ahmed Badreldin, partner and regional head of Middle East and North Africa, said in an interview in London.

Buyout firms in the Middle East and Africa are taking advantage of rising asset values to exit investments, including those acquired before the 2008 global financial crisis. Abraaj sold 80 per cent of its stake in Egyptian diagnostics provider Integrated Diagnostics Holdings in an IPO on the London Stock Exchange which valued the company at about US$670 million.

“The IDH listing has proven that you can successfully list an Egyptian company in London and that London is still a preferred venue for investors seeking exposure to high quality businesses in growth economies,” Mr Badreldin said.

Abraaj and Dubai lender Emirates NBD are considering an IPO of credit-card processing unit Network International, people familiar with the plan said May 19. The firm’s other Gulf portfolio includes investments in companies such as Dubai-listed low-cost carrier Air Arabia and Dubai-based Stanford Marine Group.

Abraaj currently manages $9 billion in markets across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Turkey.

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