Apollo Global Management’s partnership with a Dubai-based firm to help make its first investments in the Middle East is winding down, according to people familiar with the matter.
New York-based Apollo is ending its venture with Frontier Management Group, which looked to source regional deals for the US firm, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
As a result, Frontier, which was licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre in 2015, is being closed down, the people said. The firm’s license is now listed as inactive on the DIFC website.
Apollo, which oversees about $250 billion in private equity, credit and real estate assets globally, had planned to use Frontier to expand in the Middle East but wasn’t successful in finding any regional investments. It bid for a controlling stake in Saudi Arabian supermarket chain Al-Raya For Foodstuff Co in 2015 after Frontier sourced the deal, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The talks didn’t result in an agreement.
International buyout firms have made limited investments in the Middle East due to the size and political sensitivity around deals, according to a report last year by the MENA Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
Blackstone Group in 2014 bought a stake in GEMS Education, the world’s biggest privately-held schools operator, as part of a group of investors led by Dubai-based Fajr Capital. CVC Capital Partners is also considering its first investment in the Middle East, people familiar with the matter said in September.
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