MENA Infrastructure Fund buys 32.8 percent stake in United Power(2)

The firm bought the stake from GDF Suez Group when it was asked to divest its holdings in the Oman-based company when it was selected to develop other power projects in the Sultanate.

The $500 million MENA Infrastructure Fund has entered into an agreement to acquire a 32.8 percent stake for an undisclosed sum in Muscat Securities Market-listed United Power Company.

French utility GDF Suez Group sold the stake in light of regulatory pressure to do so. In December 2006, the Authority for Electricity Regulation of Oman (AER) told GDF Suez to fully divest its interests in United Power after GDF Suez was selected to develop the Barka II and Al Rusail power projects in Oman. AER set April 2009 as the deadline for completing the divestment.

Set up in 1995, United Power owns and operates the Manah Power Project in Oman. 
AER has consented to the change of control following the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval.

The MENA Infrastructure fund has been investing since April 2008, when it acquired a minority stake in Egypt’s Alexandria International Container Terminals for an undisclosed sum.

Co-sponsored by Middle East investment firm Dubai International Capital, global bank HSBC and holding company Al Waha Capital, the fund provides growth capital and makes investments in early-stage companies and projects. It targets the infrastructure and energy sectors such as utilities, transportation and social infrastructure.