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|| Abraaj Capital acquires $161 million Amundi's private equity platform

Abraaj.jpgAfter failing in its talks to acquire Citadel Capital, Abraaj Capital just announced it has acquired the North African private equity platform of Amundi, a French asset manager jointly owned by Société Générale and Crédit Agricole - hence taking over their 11 member team and $161 million fund.

Abraaj Capital is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR01.

More details follows

Abraaj Capital, the leading private equity and alternative asset management group in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), announced today its acquisition of the North African private equity platform of Amundi, the French asset manager jointly owned by Société Générale and Crédit Agricole.

Under the terms of the agreement, Abraaj Capital has taken over management of the $161m SGAM Al Kantara Fund as well as absorbing the 11-member Amundi investment team, thereby significantly enhancing its presence in North Africa.

Abraaj Capital also acquires Amundi's stake in the Kantara Fund. 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 thereby expanding Abraaj Capital's presence in the region. A further office is in the process of being established in Algeria. This on the ground presence represents an unrivalled footprint across the MENASA region and enables Abraaj Capital to source the best proprietary deal flow.

The acquisition complements the mandate of Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), the small and medium enterprise (SME) investment platform of the Abraaj group, that is focused on investing in SMEs in the broader Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), including Turkey and Pakistan. Through the RED investment platform, Abraaj Capital intends to invest more than $500m of capital into small and medium enterprises right across the MENA region.

"We are very pleased to announce the finalization of this transaction which will provide an excellent platform for our growth plans in North Africa and, beyond that, the continent of Africa. Having worked closely with the Kantara investment team over the last several months we are delighted to welcome this experienced team into the Abraaj group," said Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Chief Executive Officer of Abraaj Capital Limited.

"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. We are fortunate to have taken on such an experienced and deep team of investment professionals in one transaction."

Tom Speechley, Senior Partner at Abraaj Capital Limited and Chief Executive Officer of RED, added, "This investment demonstrates our commitment to unlocking the economic potential of the Maghreb - a rapidly emerging growth region with favorable demographics and significant long-term economic development opportunities. At Abraaj Capital, we believe that the SME segment offers among the best investment opportunities in the MENA region today as well as providing the greatest opportunity for job creation, economic growth and diversification. During this transitional period in North Africa, we believe it is critically important to encourage SMEs as they serve as the key drivers of the region's new economic growth".

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