Ithmar eyes Dh1bn PE deals

Founder Faisal sees deals in healthcare and educations sectors

Private equity firm Ithmar Capital, which manages over $800 million (Dh3 billion) in investments, expects to close deals worth at least Dh1 billion ($270 million) this year as economies in the Gulf continue to recover from the global financial crisis, its top executive said on Monday.

The Dubai-based firm, founded in 2005, invests in growth and buyout opportunities in Gulf-based or related companies.

"We expect to do deals in excess of Dh1 billion in 2014 in the healthcare and education sectors across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council)," Faisal bin Juma Belhoul, founder and managing partner of Ithmar, told Reuters. He declined to name the companies or give details of the expected deals.

"The market is very promising due to the rebound in the economies since the crisis, reflecting positively in the private equity space," Belhoul said on the sidelines of an event in Abu Dhabi.

Ithmar currently has a portfolio of six companies, including Abu Dhabi-based Al Noor Hospitals, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange last year after an initial public offer. Ithmar now holds 27.3 per cent of shares in Al Noor, said Belhoul.

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