Warburg Pincus buys majority stake in Emirates' aviation tech firm

DUBAI, April 8 Tue Apr 8, 2014 3:53am EDT

DUBAI, April 8 (Reuters) - Warburg Pincus has acquired a majority stake in Dubai-based aviation technology company mercator from the Emirates group, the private equity firm's first direct investment in the region.

Mercator was fully owned by Emirates' Dnata unit. New York-based Warburg Pincus, which has more than $37 billion in assets under management, said Dnata would retain a minority stake.

The deal will enable mercator to increase its market share and accelerate growth, Warburg Pincus and mercator said in a joint statement.

They did not reveal the size of the majority stake acquired by the private equity firm or the value of the transaction.

"We view it as an excellent platform to build a market-leading transport, travel and logistics business of scale. We look forward to building on the expertise of the mercator staff to accelerate the company's growth," Joseph Schull, managing director at Warburg Pincus, said in the joint statement.

Mercator, which provides aviation software and expertise, has more than 125 airline clients in over 80 countries including United Airlines, Qantas and British Airways.

Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has a portfolio of more than 125 companies. It raised its latest $11.2 billion global flagship fund last year for growth equity investments and leveraged buyouts. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Pravin Char)

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