Bahrain's Investcorp buys stake in Saudi oil firm

Investment firm acquires 38% stake in Al Yusr; expects to complete three more deals in 2013

Nemir Kirdar is the founder, executive chairman & CEO of Investcorp.

Nemir Kirdar is the founder, executive chairman & CEO of Investcorp.

Bahrain-based Investcorp has bought a 38 percent stake in a Saudi oil and gas services company and expects to complete up to three more deals via its $1bn Gulf fund in 2013, an executive at the firm said.

Investcorp is buying the stake in Saudi-based Al Yusr Industrial Contracting Co from two members of its controlling family for an undisclosed sum, said managing director Tristan de Boysson, betting on an expected boom in infrastructure spending in the largest Gulf Arab economy.

The private equity firm was scouting for more deals worth between $50-$70m, the executive added.

"This is the fund's eighth deal and brings (it) ... to roughly 80 percent deployment. We're looking at two to three more deals and hope to fully invest it by the end of this year," de Boysson said.

Founded in 1979, Al Yusr provides support services to the petrochemical, oil and gas and other industrial sectors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

"The market in which this company operates is growing rapidly, between 12 and 14 percent per year," de Boysson added. "We plan to support it through organic growth and inorganically inside Saudi and in new markets."

The deal is the asset manager's latest investment through its Gulf fund and comes four months after it invested in Hydrasun, an international provider of fluid control equipment and solutions for the global offshore oil and gas sector.

The company also bought last year a 35 percent stake in Kuwaiti car leasing and rental firm Automak Automotive Co, as well as a 30 percent stake in Turkish menswear retailer Orka Group.

Investcorp had $11.5bn in assets under management as of December 31, 2012.

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