Al-Sanea takes 5% of 3i’s listed vehicle

Middle Eastern investor Maan al-Sanea has backed 3i Quoted Private Equity in another example of the region’s investors’ appetite for alternative assets.

Middle Eastern investor Maan al-Sanea has taken a 5 percent stake in 3i’s listed vehicle according to a filing on the London Stock Exchange last week.

Al-Sanea invested in 3i Quoted Private Equity on 2 July, but he only recently filed the trade.

He made a £20 million ($40 million, €29 million) investment in the £400 million listing through Saad Investment Company and Awal Bank BSC. The Saudi investor also took a $6.6 billion (€4.8 billion) or a 3.1 percent stake in HSBC Holdings in February.

3i’s vehicle invests in listed European small and mid-sized companies without taking them private. The aim of the vehicle is to apply private equity style shareholder activism to companies that are still on the public markets.

Middle Eastern LPs continue to allocate large amounts to private equity funds. Domestic funds raised by local buyout firms such as Abraaj Capital have enjoyed success, while investors from the region continue to look for opportunities in Asia, Europe and the US. $9.6 billion was raised last year for allocation to the asset class according to a report by accountant KPMG and the Gulf Venture Capital Association.

Investcorp is also targeting a $1.5 billion fund, its first specifically raised targeting investments outside the Middle East. PEO revealed it had $620 million committed in June.