Abu Dhabi – Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active private equity firms investing from the Gulf region to South and Southeast Asia, announced today that it has been voted as the “Best Private Equity Firm in MENA” by global industry peers at the Private Equity International (“PEI”) 2022 Awards.
Gulf Capital received the highest industry recognition through votes by industry peers and experts from around the globe. The PEI Awards, considered to be the only independent international industry awards voted for the industry, by the industry, celebrate excellence in the private equity industry and showcase companies that exhibit true leadership and set the benchmark during the year, in the eyes of industry peers.
Gulf Capital has established a long track record of building global leaders out of the Gulf region with rapid expansion across Asia and the rest of the world, through an active “Buy and Build” approach. Gulf Capital’s portfolio companies operate today across 57 countries around the world and a number of them have been sold to large strategic buyers who are looking for truly global platforms to acquire. A good example of a recent global exit and a successful competitive auction was the sale of Chef Middle East in November 2022 to NASDAQ-listed The Chefs’ Warehouse (NASDAQ: CHEF) for US$ 100 million, generating 2.5x return on this investment.
As a thematic investor, Gulf Capital is investing today in five priority sectors, namely Technology and Fintech, Healthcare and HealhTech, Business Services, Consumer and Sustainability – all growing at double digit rates. The Firm is focused on control growth buyouts, with 81% of all private equity transactions to date involving a majority stake. Gulf Capital is also focused on deep operational improvements, thanks to its deep bench of 23 industry advisors and operating partners. In 2022, Gulf Capital’s portfolio companies achieved double digit growth rates and record profitability, reflecting the strong health of the Gulf economies and the strong momentum of its priority sectors. Portfolio companies owned by the $750 million GC Equity Partners III Fund managed by Gulf Capital, and the largest private equity fund in the Middle East, reported, on average, profitability (EBITDA) growth of 22% annually over the last three years. As a result of this strong performance, the fair value of GC Equity Partners III increased by a remarkable 62% over the last two years, despite a sharp global stock market correction in 2022.
Dr Karim El Solh, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “We are honoured to receive the ‘Best Private Equity Firm in MENA’ Award from Private Equity International for the year 2022. This award, based on independent voting from global industry peers, is a testament to Gulf Capital’s strong performance and exceptional delivery in 2022. We are fortunate to have invested in true market leaders that are growing at remarkable speed, through a mix of acquisitions and organic growth. The strong health of the underlying economies has also provided further growth momentum to our portfolio companies, with Saudi Arabia growing at 8.7% and the United Arab Emirates at 7.6% in 2022, two of the fastest growing economies in the world today. With our newly opened office in Singapore, we are continuously looking to expand our portfolio companies from the Gulf region to South and Southeast Asia, which is today the fastest growing investment corridor in the world. Our focus on control growth buyouts and deep operational improvements in this high growth investment corridor is highly differentiated, and we are incredibly grateful for the recognition from our global industry peers at the 2022 Private Equity International Awards.”
About Gulf Capital:
Gulf Capital is a leading, thematic driven private equity firm with over sixteen years of investment experience from the GCC to South and Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing investment corridors in the world today. Gulf Capital partners with dynamic entrepreneurs and exceptional management teams to provide them with growth capital, strategic advice, and operational expertise to build market leading global businesses. The Firm has a long and proven track record of investing in Growth Markets, having closed 38 investments since inception. It currently manages over $2.4 billion in assets across seven funds and investment vehicles. As a thematic investor, Gulf Capital focuses on resilient, forward-looking sectors such as Technology and Fintech, Healthcare, Business Services, Consumer and Sustainability. Its mission is to build value with world-class governance and ESG best practices, deep focus on operational improvements and sectoral expertise to generate sustainable and superior performance for its key stakeholders.