KIPCO to launch MENA-focused fund(3)

The Kuwait Projects Co. plans to raise its first private equity fund, ‘market conditions permitting’, that would invest in sectors including real estate and financial services.

Kuwait Projects Co. (KIPCO) expects to launch a private equity fund focused on Middle East and North Africa, targeting commitments from financial investors globally.

This will be the company’s maiden private equity venture, a company spokesman said. He said that the fund will invest in sectors the firm has experience in. These would include financial services, real estate, retail and industrial.

The spokesman declined to comment on the size of the proposed fund, but said “it will be a sizeable fund”. Fundraising for the vehicle is expected to begin towards the end of 2009.

KIPCO is a diversified holding company which mainly has interests in financial services, media, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing and management advisory. It is one of the largest holding companies in the MENA region with consolidated assets of more than $19 billion. The group owns significant interests in a portfolio of 50 companies operating in 21 countries.

One of the group’s portfolio companies, KIPCO Asset Management Company (KAMCO), has a private equity department that manages the Kuwait Private Equity Opportunities Fund and the Kuwait Education Fund. It also manages the National Investment Fund Portfolio, which invests in small and medium enterprises, on behalf of the Kuwait Investment Authority.