Abraaj Capital, a leading private equity manager investing into Africa, Middle East, Asia and Turkey, recently announced the acquisition of Aureos Capital, a global private equity fund management group investing in small and medium-sized enterprises across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The combined entity will have approximately US$ 7.5 billion in assets under management, presence in over 30 countries and 153 investments managed by a seasoned team of over 150 investment professionals with unmatched local expertise.
Aureos has operations in over 20 countries, US$ 1.3bn in funds under management and over 250 deals completed in the SME segment in the last 20 years. Its reputation is growing SMEs through combining local insight, extensive proprietary networks and presence. Abraaj’s $650 million SME platform is Riyada Enterprise Development (“RED”).
The transaction will create the world’s largest SME focused private equity group targeting SME investment opportunities across the high growth markets of Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. Aureos and RED will benefit from synergies and operate under the single brand “Aureos”, but all Aureos and RED funds will continue according to their existing fund mandates and investment guidelines. The expanded Aureos platform will retain its inherent structure and team within the Abraaj Group.
Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, CEO of Abraaj Capital Limited said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for Abraaj Capital and enables us to further extend our leadership position in emerging markets. Aureos is a globally respected private equity firm with a dedicated team of investment professionals who have extensive experience and knowledge of the markets they invest in, with a geographical footprint totally complementary to Abraaj with no overlap. Both Abraaj Capital and Aureos are ‘home grown’ emerging markets private equity firms with a similar philosophy and shared values. This acquisition is an important step in our expansion into Latin America, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and a new chapter in the Abraaj Capital story”.
The proposed transaction has been strongly supported by Aureos’ core investors, including CDC the UK’s Development Finance Institution. Rod Evison, Managing Director, commented: “Aureos has been able to build its investment business on a track record of careful and market-orientated investment in SMEs, so today’s announcement is good news for entrepreneurs in emerging markets. It will mean increased access to capital and local expertise for businesses to help them grow and reach their potential”.
The acquisition, which is subject to necessary approvals from the relevant authorities and one group of fund investors, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.
Abraaj Capital group was formed in 2002 and is headquartered in Dubai. It has raised over $7bn and distributed around $3bn to investors. It employs over 170 and has a presence in Riyadh, Istanbul, Cairo, Singapore, Mumbai, London, Karachi, Beirut, Ramallah, Amman, Casablanca, Algiers and Tunis. The group has helped accelerate and facilitate the growth of over 50 companies in 15 countries in the region, in attractive and fundamental sectors such as healthcare, education, energy, aviation and logistics. It manages 8 funds: 4 private equity Funds, Riyada Enterprise Development (a Fund dedicated to small and medium enterprises in the Middle East), Kantara (a Fund dedicated to small and midcap enterprises in North Africa), ASAS (an income-generating, real estate Fund) and a 2004 vintage real estate Fund. The Abraaj Capital group currently has over $6bn of assets under management. In 2011, Abraaj Capital was ranked the largest private equity firm in emerging markets worldwide by Private Equity International. In addition, Abraaj Capital has won many regional and international awards, including the ‘Middle Eastern Private Equity Firm of the Year’ for six consecutive years, awarded by Private Equity International.
Aureos was established in 2001 and has increased its funds under management to $1.3bn and extended its geographical footprint to over 50 emerging markets covering Asia, Africa and Latin America, by establishing 17 regional private equity funds. It has 25 offices worldwide, over 90 investment professionals. Investors in Aureos funds include institutional investors, bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds, family offices and foundations and high net worth individuals.