Middle East Economic Recovery Prompting Private Equity Firms to Sell Assets

Stephen Murphy of Citadel Capital

Signs of economic recovery are in the air as several private equity firms in the Middle East prepare to leave a variety of investment vehicles in the coming weeks and months, according to executives in the industry.

After the economic challenge of the Arab Spring, compounded by the international financial crisis, investors now feel the time is ripe for private equity funds to take steps to sell off shares of their funds.

Private equity funds such as Abraaj Capital, Citadel Capital, Gulf Capital and the private equity arm of Standard Chartered are planning to have a minimum of three initial public offers of their shares and about twelve portfolio asset sales in the near future.

“In the Middle East, and unlike previous years, we’re expecting a wave of exits. This means more money channelled back to investors,” said Steve Murphy, managing director at Citadel. The IPO market is like a barometer of institutional confidence. Investors need to see good return before they put fresh money into the industry.”