Millennium invests AED92m in Kuwait Energy

The Dubai-based firm has also partnered a Bahrain telecommunications company, to buy 49 percent of an Indian mobile operator, for $225 million.

Millennium Private Equity, the private equity arm of investment bank Millennium Finance, has invested AED92 million ($25 million) into Kuwait Energy, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company.

Established in 2005, Kuwait Energy aims to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day on proven and probable reserves of 300 million boe by the year 2010.

The funding “will help provide strategic direction to Kuwait Energy, as well as access to proprietary E&P projects in the Middle East”, Sara Akbar, chief executive officer of Kuwait Energy, said in a statement.

The undisclosed equity stake is the Millennium Global Energy Fund’s maiden investment since its first close in April 2008 on $200 million. The energy fund, which is targeting $1 billion for its final close, will invest between $20 million and $100 million per deal. Dubai Islamic Bank, United Gulf Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Kuwait Finance House have each committed $50 million to the fund.

Another Millennium fund, the Telecoms, Media & Technology Fund, has partnered Bahrain telecommunications company, Batelco to buy 49 percent of S Tel, an Indian mobile operator, for $225 million, according to a statement from Batelco.

Based in Chennai, S Tel is licensed to operate in the six Indian states of Bihar, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, North East and Assam. These areas have a population of approximately 230 million with a mobile penetration rate of less than 20 percent.

The investment will help S Tel set up operations in the six regions, said Izzey Guney, the TMT fund manager. The TMT fund held its first close on $150 million in April 2008 and is also targeting a final close on $1 billion.

Both funds are part of a family of seven private equity funds launched by the firm in early 2008. Millennium aims to raise $5 billion for the seven sector-focused funds. The other five funds will focus on infrastructure, real estate, health and education, natural resources and financial institutions.

Based in the Dubai International Finance Centre, Millennium was established in 2006 by Dubai Islamic Bank and Dubai World, the holding company of ports operator Dubai Ports.

Established in 1981, Batelco specialises in various communications services including mobile; national and international telephony; business network services; internet; and satellite services.