Carlyle seals first Gulf investment

The global private equity firm has taken a 30% stake in Saudi lighting business General Lighting Company.

The Carlyle Group has completed its first investment in the Gulf, taking a 30 percent stake in the General Lighting Company (GLC), a Saudi Arabian lighting fixtures and fittings manufacturer.

The deal was financed by Lebanese group Bank Audi. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Carlyle described GLC as the “uncontested, leading lighting provider in the Middle East” in a statement on Monday. Walid Musallam, Carlyle managing director and head of Carlyle MENA, said the deal marked the second investment by the firm in the MENA region in just three months. In December, it acquired a 40 percent stake in Medical Park, Turkey’s second largest healthcare services company.

The GLC deal marks the third investment from Carlyle MENA Partners’ $500 million fund, which closed in March 2009. The Medical Park deal followed the group’s first investment in Turkey in 2008 when it acquired a 50 percent stake in TVK Shipyard, a Turkish shipbuilder specializing in chemical tankers and other specialty vessels.

Carlyle’s MENA team was established in 2007 and operates from offices in Cairo, Dubai and Istanbul. It’s first two investments from the fund were two Turkish deals.