Dubai’s Abraaj said to eye stake sales this year

Middle East private equity firm Abraaj Group is looking to sell two or three of its investments this year in a bid to raise new capital, a senior executive said.

The group, whose headquarters are in Dubai, has shareholdings in retail chain Spinneys, budget carrier Air Arabia and private education firm GEMS, among other stakes.

Speaking at a Bloomberg conference in Doha, senior partner Ahmed Badreldin said: “A key thing for us is achieving exits from the portfolios we’ve built up over the years.”

Badreldin added that there is “appetite” for the Middle East and North Africa and “there are investors who want to invest in MENA only. Those are the ones we focus on and a key thing is demonstrating exits.”

Abraaj currently has about $7.5bn in assets under management.

In February, Bloomberg reported that the group was looking to offload its stake in Beirut-based Spinneys, in which it is the second largest shareholder. At the time an Abraaj spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

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