Beltone and Siparex to launch $150m fund

The Egyptian investment bank's private equity arm and the French private equity firm will make growth capital investments in Egypt and the GCC countries.

Beltone Private Equity, a division of Egyptian investment bank Beltone Financial, and SIGEFI Private Equity, the fund management arm of France’s Siparex Group, are launching Beltone Mid-Market Fund, a $150 million (€94 million) private equity fund targeting Egypt and the GCC countries.

The fund will be managed by a joint venture fund management company in which Beltone will have a 75 percent interest and SIGEFI 25 percent. The fund management company will be headed by AM Omran, director of Beltone Private Equity. SIGEFI will have a representative on the investment committee of the fund and will participate in the management team.

Omran told PEO that Beltone Mid-Market Fund is registered in Luxembourg, and is an umbrella fund consisting of two sub-funds, a $100 million fund dedicated to Egypt and a $50 million fund focussed on other GCC countries.

The firm expects the fund to see a final close by June 2009.

The Beltone Mid-Market Fund will make growth capital investments in SMEs and other private companies and acquire strategic minority interests in them, ideally about 35 percent, Omran said.

The fund will invest across various sectors from both its sub-funds though he did say that “a couple of sectors where we have advantages include textiles and clothing, food processing and packaging”. Investments will be made in companies that have growth and export potential, particularly to countries in Europe.

Omran said that at a later stage, Beltone and SIGEFI will look to raise other sub-funds as well.

Established in 2005, Beltone Private Equity manages three funds, the most recent of which closed earlier this year. The $85 million Beltone Retail Fund invests in Egypt's retail sector. The firm manages assets of more than $500 million.

Siparex manages about €900 million ($1.43 billion). Its private equity arm SIGEFI has similar investment partnerships in countries such as Morocco and Tunisia.