Samena hits $375m first close on third special sits fund

The firm expects to hold a final close in the next 18 months.

Dubai-headquartered private equity firm Samena Capital has held a $375 million first close on its latest special situations fund, Samena Special Situations Fund III, which is targeting $700 million.

Samena secured commitments from LPs including institutional investors from India, the Middle East and Asia with the firm enjoying strong support from its existing investor base, a source familiar with the matter told Private Equity International.

Limited partners in Samena’s previous funds include Salam International Investment Limited, according to PEI data. Media reports also indicate that firm’s investors include Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, minister of culture, youth and community development of the United Arab Emirates; Sheikh Ahmed Bin Nasser Bin Faleh Al-Thani, Qatar’s former minister of communication and transport; and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa, a senior advisor to Bahrain’s crown prince.

The firm is said to expect a final close for the fund at around $700 million to $800 million in the next 18 months and is targeting a 2-2.5x return for its investors.

Fund III will follow the same strategy as its predecessors – 2011-vintage, $332 million Fund II and 2008-vintage, $181 million Fund I – investing primarily in South Asia, as well as targeting investments in Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and China, the source added. Investments from Fund II include Indian automotive company Mahindra Two Wheelers, ceramic tiles and sanitary ware company RAK Ceramics, and Jakarta-based online grocery company HappyFresh.

The firm has yet to make its first investment from Fund III. It expects to make around 20 deals, which could mean more smaller deals or fewer bigger deals depending on the opportunity, the source said.

Samena is focused on private equity, direct investments and credit in the Subcontinent, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa with offices in London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Mumbai.

The firm has raised more than $1.5 billion of capital since 2008 and has returned $550 million to investors from over 45 full and partial exits. As of 31 December 2016, the firm has returned 127.5 percent of committed capital in Fund I to its investors. Meanwhile for Fund II, Samena has repaid 15 percent of committed capital as of February 2017, it said on its website.