DIC makes first direct MENA investment

Dubai International Capital has completed its first direct private equity investment in the region through the acquisition of luxury company Rivoli Group.

MENA-based investment company Dubai International Capital has bought a significant stake in Rivoli Group for an undisclosed sum.

Dubai

Rivoli operates more than 215 retail outlets across the Middle East and North Africa region, which sell luxury goods including high-end watches, pens and menswear. The luxury retail group will use the capital to expand across the region, the buyout firm said in a statement.

The luxury goods market in the MENA region has strong growth prospects on the back of the region’s boom in the last few years.

The investment vehicle’s spokeswoman said: “This is Dubai International Capital’s first direct private equity investment in this market.” Dubai International Capital has made other private equity investments in the MENA region through sector-specific funds managed by their own investment companies, she said. 

Dubai International Capital’s regional funds and investment companies include Ishraq a $150 million investment company, Jordan Dubai Capital, a $300 million investment company targeting private equity opportunities in Jordan and a $500 million MENA infrastructure fund.

The investment company has gained particular prominence through the acquisition of minority stakes in companies such as international bank HSBC and Franco-German owned aerospace and defence company EADS.

It has also been active in private equity, with the £800 million ($1.61 billion, €1.14 billion) acquisition of waxwork company Tussauds Group in 2005, which it subsequently sold to the US buyout firm The Blackstone Group earlier this year.

The firm also attempted to buy UK football club Liverpool FC earlier this year, but US buyout veteran Tom Hicks and compatriot George Gillet fended off the Dubai-based company with a £470 million bid.