Trio of deals for Gulf Capital

The Abu Dhabi-based manager’s second private debt fund has completed transactions in Egypt, East Africa and Turkey.

Walid Cherif: Gulf Capital MD

Middle Eastern alternative asset manager Gulf Capital has completed three new investments worth a total of $46 million from its second private debt fund, Gulf Credit Opportunities Fund II.

The firm, which claims to be the largest non-bank provider of private debt in the region, has now deployed more than 30 percent of the capital from its second fund, which closed last year on $250 million. The fund targets a 15-18 percent internal rate of return.

Speaking of the opportunity in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Gulf Capital chief executive officer Karim El Solh said: “There is a huge financing gap in these markets where traditional financing is scarce, even for successful small and medium enterprises with excellent track records looking for growth capital.”

One of the three deals, which all completed in the fourth quarter, involved a logistics company with operations in Tanzania and Kenya offering transnational road and rail transport of fuel, edible oils, lubricants, bulk cargo and dry goods across East and Central Africa. Senior managing director Walid Cherif said the $15 million deal was the firm’s first private debt transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The firm also completed its fifth deal in Egypt, providing $22 million to a firm providing liquefied petroleum gas and gasoil storage and delivery services to the Egyptian government; as well as backing a Turkish company offering subscription-based water filtration services to residential and commercial customers in the country.

Gulf Credit Opportunities II provides tailored financings between $10 million and $200 million to mid-market companies in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. It targets consumer-focused growth sectors that are defensive in nature including healthcare, education and power/water.

The firm’s private debt business currently has around $471 million in assets under management.