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Sun 15 May 2011 09:27 AM

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Abraaj eyes new deals in 2011, will exit investments

Dubai-based firm sees multiple SME investments, at least two private equity deals this year

Abraaj eyes new deals in 2011, will exit investments
Abraaj Capital CEO and founder Arif Naqvi. The firm said it plans to invest around $2bn by 2012

Dubai-based
Abraaj Capital plans to finalise at least two
deals in 2011 and will exit a number of maturing investments this year, a
senior executive said.

“On the private equity side I
would say at least one or two more deals in 2011 and, on the SME [small and
medium-sized enterprises] side, which is smaller, I think there will be a
multiple of that number,” said Ahmed Badreldin, senior partner at Abraaj.

The private equity firm said in
January it planned to invest $2bn this year and the next.

In April, Abraaj acquired at 49
percent stake in credit card processing firm Network International from
Emirates NBD, in a deal valued at around AED2bn ($539m).

Abraaj, the
Middle East's biggest private equity fund with around $6.6bn under management,
plans to exit a number of its older investments this year.

“In private equity the holding
period is around three to four years, maybe five… One of the things we are
focused on is, for certain assets, to look to sell some of the companies we
own,” Badreldin said.

He declined to name the
investments, but said it was likely to be those which the company has held “for
more than four or five years”.

According to its website, Abraaj
holds stakes in a number of prominent Gulf firms dating back to 2004, including
GEMS, the retail chain Spinneys, Air Arabia and Emirati property and hospitality
company Enshaa.

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