ABU DHABI, March 24 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
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
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho, Editing by Andrew Torchia)