EFG-Hermes invests $65m in hospitality company

The investment is part of the Egypt-based firm’s expansion across the Middle East and North Africa, following the hiring of three former Goldman execs in July.

EFG-Hermes, an investment bank with a private equity arm, has invested $65 million (€46 million) in a company that provides staff facilities for the construction industry and hospitality sector in the United Arab Emirates.

EFG-Hermes Private Equity will be the largest shareholder in Gulf Housing Solutions. The investment is part of Egypt-based EFG-Hermes Private Equity’s planned expansion across the Middle East and North Africa.

Walid Zein, who recently joined the unit from Goldman Sachs, said in a statement that the region is experiencing growth in the construction, hospitality and real estate sectors. The firm estimates the total value of announced regional construction projects will surpass $2 trillion in the next few years.

Zein joined EFG along with former Goldman executives Hazem Shawki and Kashif Siddiqui in July. The three were hired to assist EFG’s private equity arm in investing its third North Africa and Middle East fund, which closed on $555 million in March 2007, the firm’s largest fundraising efforts since its inception in 1997.

EFG-Hermes Private Equity investments include cellular phone network Vodafone Egypt and leading Egyptian jam producer Vitrac. The firm manages more than $1 billion in assets.