Swicorp and Savola launch corporate venture fund

DUBAI — Swicorp, a premier private equity and investment banking firm in the Middle East, has partnered with the Savola Group, a leading diversified group in Saudi Arabia, to launch Intaj Capital LLC, a private equity fund with an initial closing of $60 million and a subsequent closing in 2006 targeting a capitalisation of up to $200 million.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 19 Jun 2005, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:44 PM

Swicorp will be the fund manager, while Savola will be an anchor investor. The fund intends to focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in order to reap the benefits of the region's currently booming economies and capitalise on its emerging and promising private equity industry.

The fund will seek to invest in a diversified portfolio of companies with significant growth prospects and operating in pre-selected growth sectors such as consumer goods, retail, communications, financial services, and infrastructure.

“The Launch of Intaj Capital is an important step for Swicorp and it reflects our commitment to the development and growth of private equity in MENA. We are delighted to be engaging in this new venture with the Savola Group, one of our closest clients in the region, with which we have a longstanding relationship and a quality track record,” said Kamal Lazaar, President and Managing Director of Swicorp.

The Fund will leverage Swicorp and Savola's combined market knowledge and know-how to create value and achieve superior returns by enhancing the operational and financial performance of portfolio companies as well as by performing timely and well executed exits. Commenting on the Launch of the Fund, Savola's CEO, Dr Abderaouf Mannaa said that Intaj Capital represented a unique opportunity for Savola to be involved in the growing private equity sector and a vehicle for exploring new boundaries for the development of Savola.

Swicorp is a Swiss-headquartered investment firm with a unique track record of corporate finance transactions in MENA, counting among others, the first LBO in Saudi Arabia as well as the first Corporate Venture Fund in MENA. Intaj Capital is Swicorp's second private equity fund in the region following 'MENA Water Ventures', which was launched in partnership with Groupe Danone late 2003.

The Savola Group is one of Saudi Arabia's leading industrial companies with a market capitalisation exceeding $10 billion. The Group's major holdings supply Saudi Arabia and the MENA countries with edible oils, sugar, fresh dairy products, and fast food restaurants. The Group also owns what is considered to be the largest retail chain in the Middle East-the Azizia Panda supermarkets.

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