Millennium closes second deal

The Dubai-based private equity firm, currently raising a $1bn media, tech and telecom fund, has invested in ethernet company Turn Networks.

Millennium Private Equity, a subsidiary of Dubai-based investment bank Millennium Finance Corporation, has closed invested an undisclosed sum in ethernet service provider Turin Networks.

The investment will help the company strengthen its international platform, Turin’s chief executive, Henry Wasik, said in a statement.

Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Turin said its products are used globally by 600 clients, including “the top five wireless network operators and 11 of the top 17 broadband internet providers in the US”.

The investment was made from Millennium’s Telecom, Media and Technology Fund, which is raising $1 billion (€692 million) and is focused on deals in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It held a first close on $150 million in April, and counts among its limited partners the Dubai Islamic Bank, United Gulf Bank and Islamic Development Bank, each of which committed $50 million to the fund.

The firm also held a first close in April on $200 million for its second fund focused on the global energy sector.

Millennium intends to raise $5 billion across seven sector-focused funds. The other five funds, which have not been launched, will focus on Africa, clean technology, health and education, mining and real estate.

Earlier this month, the Telecom, Media and Technology Fund acquired an undisclosed stake in FRiENDi mobile, a Dubai-based mobile service provider. This first investment intends to address the mismatch between penetration levels of telecommunications products and their high demand.

Millennium Private Equity’s first investment took place in early 2008 when it invested $100 million in Infratel, an India-based telecom tower company and subsidiary of Indian telecommunication company, Bharti Airtel. The investment was part of a $1.25 billion private placement that included private equity players like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Temasek Holdings, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Bank. Millennium’s investment in Infratel was made through a fund solely seeded by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, the investment arm of the Dubai government.