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|| Al Masah to launch $500 million MENA fund this quarter

Al-Masah.jpgAl Masah Capital, an asset management company, will launch its $500 million MENA private equity fund in the current quarter - its founder and CEO told Emirates Business.

It has received interest from sovereign and pension funds and expect to get most of the money from the region and 20% from international investors. The firm will also launch another Luxembourg-based multi strategies fund, named Al Masah Special Opportunities Fund. The size of the fund would be about $150 million-$200 million. Al Masah is in the process of signing up agreements with at least three firms in petrochemicals, education and healthcare sectors.

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More details from Emirates Business follows

Al Masah Capital, an asset management company, will launch its $500 million (Dh1.835 billion) Mena private equity fund in the current quarter, its founder and CEO told Emirates Business.

"We plan to launch the Mena private equity fund as soon as we get the required approvals. The fund is likely to be at least $500m in size. We have received interest from sovereign and pension funds and expect to get most of the money from the region and about 20 per cent from international investors," said Shailesh Dash, founder and CEO, Al Masah Capital. The Mena PE fund will be called Al Masah Capital Social Infrastructure fund.

The firm will launch another Luxembourg-based multi strategies fund, named Al Masah Special Opportunities Fund. The size of the fund would be about $150m-$200m. Deal activity in the first quarter in the region was much better this year, Dash said, adding that 13 to 15 deals are likely to have been completed.

Al Masah, he said, is in the process of signing up agreements with at least three firms in petrochemicals, education and healthcare sectors.

"The deals this year are expected to be of relatively smaller size, between $25m-$50m and dominated by families," said Dash.

"Families are more active in the current environment as they are able to get transactions at attractive prices. As the pricing starts to grow higher, they would need special expertise of PE funds to invest their money better. Once again the activity would be dominated by PE funds," he said.

Last year was dominated by smaller deals. However, this year, is expected to be a mixed environment with the "macro environment improving".

However, exit routes continue to remain difficult. "What you see today is that exit routes are much more strategic. Secondary sales would dominate this year as well because we expect IPO market to take some time to improve," said Dash.



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