Gulf Capital to sell marine services stake

Gulf Capital, the Abu Dhabi-based buyout company, said the initial public offering of its Gulf Marine unit implied gross gains of more than $600 million and it will sell its remaining shares when a lock-up period ends.

By (Bloomberg)

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Published: Wed 26 Mar 2014, 11:33 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:26 PM

“This transaction exceeded all our expectations,” the private equity firm’s chief executive officer Karim El Solh said in a phone interview from Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. “We still own half the company and we will be exiting through the stock market in an orderly” manner in about 270 days, he said.

Gulf Marine Service Plc’s IPO in London this month, which priced at the bottom of its range, raised £179 million ($296 million) and reduced Gulf Capital’s shareholding to 49.7 per cent from 80 per cent, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Gulf Capital made the investment in 2007 from its $533 million GC Equity Partners II Fund and gains include a dividend distribution in 2013.

The number of initial public offerings from the UAE is set to pick up in 2014 as stock markets rally, according to Morgan Stanley. Dubai’s index rose 29 per cent this year, the most among more than 90 gauge’s tracked by Bloomberg, while Abu Dhabi’s measure surged 12 per cent. Gulf Marine Services operates a fleet of nine support vessels mainly used by the oil and gas industry, focused on the Middle East, North Africa and Northwest Europe. The shares were sold at 135 pence each, according to the prospectus. They closed at 157.75 pence on Monday. Gulf Capital has invested about 80 per cent of its equity fund, which owns stakes in seven other companies, El Solh said. It expects to make another two investments this year, he said.

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