Gulf Capital eyes 2018 fundraise

The Abu Dhabi-headquartered investment firm has made four investments from its latest private equity fund across consumer, food distribution and e-commerce sectors.

Gulf Capital, one of the gulf region’s largest private equity firms by assets, expects to have deployed around two-thirds of its latest fund in the coming year and is considering returning to market in 18 months, according to the firm’s head of private equity.

The Abu Dhabi-headquartered alternative asset management firm made four investments from its 2014-vintage Gulf Capital Equity Partners Fund III last year that span mainly consumer-related, food distribution and e-commerce sectors, Muhannad Qubbaj told Private Equity International.

Two of the firm’s acquisitions last year include its controlling stake in Sporter.com, an online sports and nutrition supplements retailer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area, and 100 percent of Multibrands, a food and beverage distributor.

The firm’s $750 million Fund III focuses on control-oriented growth buyout investments mainly in GCC member states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Investors in the fund include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, insurance companies and family offices, with more than half of its limited partners based in the US, Europe and Asia.

Fund III launched in October 2013 with a $550 million target and closed a year later oversubscribed, according to PEI data.

Qubbaj did not specify how much the firm may seek for Fund IV.

Founded in 2006, Gulf Capital has more than $4 billion in assets under management. Its portfolio companies span sectors including healthcare, energy, engineering and hospitality, according to its website.

The firm focuses mainly on late-stage control buyouts and growth capital strategies as well as real estate development and private debt.