Rasmala holds $120m first close

The second fund being raised by the MENA-focused firm is expected to reach its $350m target within a few months.

The private equity arm of Dubai-based Rasmala Investments expects to close its second fund soon on $350 million.

It held a $120 million first close in November, and Tamer Bazzari, deputy chief executive, said in a statement he was confident the fund would reach its $350 million target “in the next few months”.

The Sharia-compliant fund will focus on mid-cap investment opportunities in Egypt and Gulf Cooperation Council countries and has a target internal rate of return of 25 percent per annum.

The fund has already made one investment in the United Arab Emirates manufacturing sector and is currently evaluating several potential deals in the banking, oil and gas, logistics, healthcare and education sectors, according to Bazzari, who said the firm saw “an abundance” of opportunities in the region.

Rasmala launched its first private equity fund, Rasmala MENA Private Equity Fund, in 1999. It fully realised this buyout-focused fund in 2007, returning 3.5 times capital to investors and generating an IRR of 22 percent. No details were given on the size of the fund.

In February last year, former Carlyle Group executive Ibrahim Saad joined the firm as partner and head of private equity, after just 14 months at AB Capital. Prior to AB Capital, Saad set up SHUAA Partners, the private equity arm of SHUAA Capital.