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Sun 28 Aug 2011 06:12 PM

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Dubai's Abraaj buys Amundi's North African PE ops

Private equity giant takes over management of $161m fund and Amundi's investment team

Dubai's Abraaj buys Amundi's North African PE ops

Dubai-based Abraaj Capital said on Sunday it had acquired the North African private equity operations of Amundi.

The Middle East's largest private equity firm with assets of $6.2bn, said it has taken over management of the $161 million SGAM Al Kantara Fund as well as absorbing the 11-member Amundi investment team, in a move that significantly enhances its presence in North Africa.

Abraaj Capital has also acquired Amundi’s stake in the Kantara Fund, it added without giving a value for the transaction.

With five existing investments in Morocco and Tunisia and pursuing an active pipeline of investment opportunities across North Africa, the Kantara Fund is a buyout and expansion capital fund, primarily focused on small and mid-cap investment opportunities in North Africa.

The acquisition includes fully staffed offices in Morocco and Tunisia while a further office is in the process of being established in Algeria, Abraaj said in a statement.

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, CEO of Abraaj Capital Limited, said: “We are firm believers in using local knowledge and top tier expertise in all the markets in which we invest to ensure that our deal flow is as good as it possibly can be.”

Tom Speechley, senior partner at Abraaj, added: “This investment demonstrates our commitment to unlocking the economic potential of the Maghreb – a rapidly emerging growth region with favourable demographics and significant long-term economic development opportunities.”

Last month Abraaj said it ended acquisition talks with Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital following a review.

Amundi, which has around 690 billion euros in total assets, is jointly owned by Societe Generale and Credit Agricole.

The Middle East and North Africa regions are important investment areas for private equity firms, which have raised $22.7 billion to invest into the area in the past five years, according to figures from London-based research firm Preqin.

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