Investcorp seeks more deals after first half profit rises

Co-CEO says alternative investment fund seeking further buys to expand its business

Bahrain-based Investcorp will seek further opportunities to acquire businesses, its co-chief executive said on Wednesday, after the alternative investment fund posted a 12 percent rise in first-half net profit.

Investcorp bought the Hedge Fund of Funds business unit of US firm SSARIS Advisors for an undisclosed sum in November, the first move in a strategic plan announced earlier that month aimed at moving into the top tier of investment companies.

"One of the things we're clearly signalling to the market at large is our openness and willingness to consider inorganic growth options for our business, where there is a fit that makes logical sense," Rishi Kapoor told reporters on a conference call.

He added the company would continue to evaluate similar opportunities as SSARIS.

Founded in 1982, making it one of the oldest Middle Eastern private equity houses, Investcorp is best known in the global space for listing luxury goods brands, such as Gucci and Tiffany & Co, but has increasingly branched out into other sectors too.

Its net profit grew to $50.9 million in the six months to Dec. 31, up from $45.3 million in the prior-year period, according to a statement.

This came despite fee income dropping 14 percent year on year to $134.7 million, which Investcorp attributed to the "exceptionally high" fees generated in the prior-year period by the sale of Berlin Packaging.

Kapoor said while the first three months had been slow from a transactions perspective, activity ramped up in the second half of the reporting period -- something that was continuing at the start of 2016.

During the reporting period, it deployed $314 million in three corporate investments, including Saudi supermarket chain Bindawood Holding and cybersecurity firm SecureLink, as well as $344 million into two real estate portfolios in the US

Investcorp was continuing to target investments in US real estate, and was also looking to Europe as well, while it was looking selectively at private equity buys in both regions, Kapoor added.

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