Citadel reaches $4bn in AUM

The Egyptian private equity firm has raised $265m so far this year.

Egypt-based Citadel Capital has raised $265.4 million so far in 2010, pushing the private equity and infrastructure firm past the $4 billion mark in assets under management.

“We believe that Citadel Capital’s fundraising year-to-date accounts for more than 27 percent of all private equity funds raised for investment in the MENA region in 2010,” said Ahmed Heikal, Citadel’s chairman and founder, in a statement, citing figures from the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association.

The $265.4 million figure includes $140 million raised for the MENA and Africa Joint Investment Funds, two separate vehicles. The two funds held a first close in July.

The African funds – Citadel’s first two closed-end private equity funds – have a combined fundraising target of $500 million and the firm is hoping to close the funds in mid-2011, it said. To date the firm has been investing from its own balance sheet.

The fundraising figure also includes $100 million raised from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance organisation. OPIC selected Citadel, along with other regional managers such as Riyada Enterprise – part of Abraaj Capital – and Kuwait-based KIPCO Private Equity. Citadel has not yet drawn any of the OPIC capital and will invest it over the next three years, a spokesman for the firm said.

Heikal said the fact that Citadel had got six greenfield sites underway and agreed a $2.6 billion debt funding package for its oil and gas platform, the Egyptian Refining Company, this year had “not gone unnoticed by the regional investors who are our core LPs, nor by the sophisticated global institutional LPs that are looking to Citadel Capital to gain exposure to Africa's highly promising markets.”

“This momentum has fed straight into important new fundraising in the past quarter,” he added.