Dubai's Ithmar says eyes $270 mln of Gulf PE deals

ABU DHABI, March 24 Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:58am EDT

ABU DHABI, March 24 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Ithmar Capital, which manages over $800 million in investments, expects to close deals worth at least 1 billion dirhams ($270 million) this year as economies in the Gulf continue to recover from the global financial crisis, its top executive said on Monday.

The Dubai-based firm, founded in 2005, invests in growth and buyout opportunities in Gulf-based or related companies.

"We expect to do deals in excess of 1 billion dirhams in 2014 in the healthcare and education sectors across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council)," Faisal bin Juma Belhoul, founder and managing partner of Ithmar, told Reuters. He declined to name the companies or give details of the expected deals.

"The market is very promising due to the rebound in the economies since the crisis, reflecting positively in the private equity space," Belhoul said on the sidelines of an event in Abu Dhabi.

Ithmar currently has a portfolio of six companies, including Abu Dhabi-based Al Noor Hospitals, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange last year after an initial public offer. Ithmar now holds 27.3 percent of shares in Al Noor, said Belhoul. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho, Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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