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|| Shirish Saraf's Dubai private equity firm Samena Capital launches second fund targeting $700 million


Samena Capital, an investment firm with focus on Middle East and Asia that currently manages $400 million, announced launch of its second fund with a $700 million target.

Established in 2008 with Shirish Saraf as Vice Chairman and CEO, it is focused on principal investments in the Subcontinent, Asia, Middle East and North Africa and calls it the SAMENA region. (As you know, Abraaj capital is calling a similar geographic area MENASA). According to the firm announcement, it has already received response from its anchor investors, with commitments in excess of $350 million.

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More details follows from the firm

Samena Capital, a premier investment group focused on principal investments in the Subcontinent, Asia, Middle East and North Africa, (collectively known as the SAMENA region), is pleased to announce the launch of the Samena Special Situations Fund II L.P. (SSSF II or the Fund), the successor Fund to its flagship Samena Special Situations Fund L.P. (SSSF I). SSSF II has a targeted corpus of US$700 million and has already received an enthusiastic response from its anchor investors, with commitments in excess of US$350 million. This reaffirms their faith in Samena's collective investment value proposition, as evidenced by the very successful track record of SSSF I, a strongly performing fund through turbulent global markets since its launch in 2008. SSSF I recently exited a number of its initial investments, including Eicher Motors, the leading Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer, that generated a return on investment of 5.4x in less than two years, SSSF I has therefore already repaid 20% of its capital to investors, well ahead of the anticipated timeframe.

SSSF II will follow a similar approach to SSSF I and operate through a seven year close-ended private equity style structure, leveraging the collective acumen of Samena's shareholders and seasoned investment team, whose business expertise spans the economic hubs of the Middle East, Asia and India. This structure allows the Fund to build strong minority stakes in listed companies that are stable mature businesses with high caliber management that can benefit from access to the broader opportunities that Samena Capital provides. The Fund will take positions through strategic block purchases, pre-negotiated deals and preferential issuance of equity. The significantly larger scale of SSSF II together with the addition of some of Asia's most prominent business personalities to the company's existing strategic shareholder group, will lead to greater co-investment opportunities across a range of industries and geographies to better maximise value creation from the profile and reach of Samena's shareholders.

Commenting on the launch of the Fund, Shirish Saraf, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samena Capital said, "I am delighted by the tremendous response of our anchor investors to the Samena Special Situations Fund II. Samena Capital is the successful embodiment of our unique investment philosophy, which brings together leading entrepreneurs from the world's high potential markets. We launch this Fund in the wake of extremely robust performance from SSSF 1 and our other close-ended funds and with strong momentum in the management company, bolstered by new shareholders and with an exemplary track record for transparency and corporate governance. We are the primary investment of some of the leading businessmen from the SAMENA region. This gives us a powerful foundation for future deal flow, value creation opportunities, generation of ideas and cross-synergisation of business networks."

V-Nee YEH, a Founding Shareholder and Chairman of Samena Capital notes, "In my opinion what differentiates Samena Capital is the way it stands at the vanguard of economic integration across the SAMENA region. We are at an inflection point in the way different regions trade and invest with each other and Samena Capital's shareholders have unrivalled access to and understanding of the most entrepreneurial businesses which benefit from that trend. This translates to significant value creation through an entirely new approach to investment and asset management. The second fund augments Samena Capital's reach, diversifies the proven alignment of business entrepreneurs and asset managers and re-opens the old Silk Route along which ideas and wealth were traded between Europe and the SAMENA countries in previous generations."

Samena Capital was established in 2008 by some of the most prominent valuepreneurs from the SAMENA region and uniquely capitalized with equity of some US$50 million. The founding shareholders have created prominent global businesses over the last decade and comprise some of the most influential businessmen, deal-makers, corporate leaders and asset management professionals. The core philosophy of its collective investment model is to bring together first generation valuepreneurs from the SAMENA region as shareholders and harness the synergies that emerge by combining their intellectual capital with the unrivalled track record of its management team. Samena Capital currently manages in excess of US$400 million across a range of close-ended fund structures and has regulated investments advisors in London (FSA and FII license) and Hong Kong (SFC license) and a research presence in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

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