London-headquartered Capital Trust is nearing a $100 million close for EuroMena II, a private equity fund focused on the Middle East and North Africa. The fund will be closed in two weeks, the firm said.
Besides Capital Trust Group, which is the anchor investor in the fund, other investors include the European Investment Bank, Proparco, and high networth individuals from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon. All the investors in EuroMena I have returned to invest in the second fund, the firm said in a statement.
The firm began raising capital for EuroMena II in November 2008. “Raising funds has been very challenging in light of the world financial crisis and economic recession,” Bassam Aburdene, chairman and chief executive officer of Capital Trust, said in a statement.
EuroMena II will have the same investment strategy as its predecessor fund, said George Shweiry, managing director of Europe and the Middle East at Capital Trust. The fund will invest in private companies in industries in varied growth sectors that have the potential to expand regionally, but will exclude real estate, turnaround situations and venture capital. The fund will invest in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.
This is the firm’s third MENA-focused private equity fund, following EuroMena I, which raised $63 million, and MENAVEST, which closed on $54 million. The firm also manages other funds focused on UK real estate, European private equity and mezzanine opportunities, and US mezzanine and private equity.
Capital Trust has offices in London, Beirut, New York and Washington.