Dubai-based buyout firm Abraaj Capital is approaching a $1 billion second close for its infrastructure and growth capital fund, which could raise up to $2 billion.
Frederick Sicre, from Abraaj Capital, said: “We are on course for a second close of $1 billion by the end of September. Looking at soft commitments, we will reach the final close of $2 billion by the end of the year.”
The fund, managed by Abraaj, is co-sponsored by Deutsche Bank and Ithmaar Bank, an investment bank based in Bahrain. The infrastructure fund held its first close on $500 million in February.
The fund is being raised on Shariah principles. Sicre said: “There is an increasing pool of funds being raised on Islamic principles. I am told by our experts that the arrangements are quite flexible with the right partners and the right board to work with.”
The fund’s scope is Abraaj’s key geography of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, which includes Turkey and the sub-continent. However, the fund will target the MENA region and Turkey specifically.
According to Sicre, Abraaj’s general success has been magnified by the immense change in the fundraising landscape in the Middle East and the extent to which the region is attracting foreign investment. “The growth in the MENA region is epitomized by the Dubai story. I hear from US fund managers who have never been there that the region is on their radars in a very big way.”