According to Preqin’s Fund Manager Profiles database, there are currently 86 private equity firms based in the Middle East. Collectively, these firms have raised approximately $16.3bn in aggregate capital commitments over the past 10 years and have an estimated $3.2bn available in dry powder. Of these firms, 11 have a strategy focused purely on buyout and 21% focus on venture capital. Thirty-nine fund managers focus on more than one strategy including buyout and the same number of firms focus on more than one strategy including venture capital.
The six largest Middle-East-based firms by funds raised in the last 10 years all have a buyout investment strategy. Abraaj Capital, based in the United Arab Emirates, has raised the most capital with an aggregate $3.3bn raised over the last 10 years. The firm has recently starting raising the Riyada Enterprise Development Growth Fund, which has a $400mn target and invests in small and mid-cap businesses in a wide range of sectors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The firm targets a wide range of industry sectors including construction, healthcare and technology.
Global Investment House, based in Kuwait is the second largest private equity firm in the region, having raised $2.9bn in aggregate capital in the last 10 years. The firm focuses on education and training, financial services, healthcare, logistics and shipping industries in the MENA and GCC regions.
The largest Middle-East-based firm with a focus on venture capital, by funds raised in the last 10 years, is Venture Capital Bank. However, the firm also focuses on other strategies including buyout, growth and mezzanine. Venture Capital Bank is based in Bahrain and has raised an aggregate $345mn in capital in the last 10 years and has an estimated $54mn of dry powder.
Forty-eight percent of all the firms located in the Middle East are based in United Arab Emirates, accounting for 46% of the aggregate capital raised over the past 10 years by Middle East-based fund managers. There are 12 firms located in Bahrain, 10 in Kuwait and nine in Saudi Arabia, collectively accounting for 39% of the aggregate capital raised in the region in the past decade.