Citadel sketches out IPO plan

On the day that MENA rival Abraaj Capital raised $375m from shareholders, Cairo-based Citadel has unveiled plans for a public listing.

Citadel Capital plans to list 12.5 percent of its shares on the Egyptian Stock Exchange in a bid to make it easier to raise capital in the future.

“This listing will give Citadel Capital new flexibility in accessing equity capital markets at a later date, furthering our ability to invest in our own deals as a principal investor,” said chairman and founder of Citadel, Ahmed Heikal, in a statement. The firm normally invests between 10 and 20 percent of the equity per deal alongside its LPs.

Management is not selling.

Ahmed Heikal

Citadel is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt and has offices in Algiers. From these bases it invests in businesses across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  It is also looking to establish locations in South Sudan and Ethiopia to access deal flow throughout East Africa.

The listing will create “liquidity for existing financial investors in our firm at a time when that liquidity is becoming of greater importance than ever before,” said Heikal, who noted that Citadel Capital Partners, the vehicle through which senior management holds its equity in the firm, is not selling any shares at this time.
“Management is not selling,” he said.

The stock price and listing date have not yet been agreed. Once listed, Citadel will produce guidance on the net asset value of its portfolio on a semi-annual basis.

Citadel has unveiled its plans to list on the same day that Dubai-based Abraaj Capital, one of its closest competitors in the MENA private equity market, unveiled a successful $375 million rights issue.

In the PEI 300 published in May this year, Citadel was ranked as the 75th largest private equity firm in the world having raised more than $4 billion in third party capital over the last five years. Abraaj was ranked 54th, having raised almost $6.5 billion.

Abraaj has stated that the proceeds from its recent rights issue will be used both to seed new funds and to allow the firm to make strategic acquisitions. A source close to the firm confirmed that it is plotting the acquisition of an Asia-focused asset manager.