IFC mulls $20m commitment to Swicorp fund

MENA-focused Swicorp Intaj Capital II aims to hold an $80m first close early next year, on its way to $400m.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) may invest up to $20 million in Swicorp Intaj Capital II, a MENA-focused fund targeting $400 million. The fund’s predecessor raised $250 million. 

Swicorp could not be reached by press time.

Swicorp Intaj Capital II comprises two limited partnerships: the pan-MENA partnership and the non-GCC partnership. IFC’s investment would be in the non-GCC partnership, which allows investors unwilling or unable to invest in GCC countries to invest in the MENA region excluding GCC countries.
Swicorp KSA, a Swicorp affiliate, is the fund's anchor investor. The fund is targeting a first close on $80 million in early 2010 and will invest in between 12 to 15 mid to large cap companies in the MENA region including Turkey. It will focus on sectors including consumer goods, retail, media and communications and consumer financial services.

Some of Swicorp's deals from its predecessor fund include investments in Algerian fuel distributor Petroser, aviation leasing company Jordan Aviation and Turkish carpet manufacturer Step. 

Intaj Capital has a 16-strong team based in Tunis, Algiers, Jeddah and Dubai, currently managing Intaj Capital I. Last month, ex-Intaj Capital executive director Michael Kidd joined Dubai-based investment firm Rasmala as its private equity head. It is unclear if Kidd has been replaced. 

Riyadh-headquartered Swicorp is a private equity and investment banking firm focused on the MENA region. Its private equity arm broadly invests across three sectors out of three vehicles: Intaj Capital, which focuses on consumer demand sectors; Swicorp Joussour, a $1 billion fund focused on petrochemicals, energy-intensive industries, gas and oil, and infrastructure; and Swicorp Emerge Invest, an open-ended vehicle focused on greenfield projects in sectors including industrial goods, infrastructure and real estate development.