MENA Infrastructure makes debut exits

The Dubai-based firm, which is currently raising its second fund, has sold its stakes in Alexandria International Container Terminals and United Power Co.

MENA Infrastructure, a Dubai-based firm focused on the Middle East and North Africa, has completed its first exits by selling stakes in companies it acquired in 2008 and 2009.

The first deal saw it divest its 30.33 percent holding in Alexandria International Container Terminals, which holds the concession to operate and maintain Egypt’s Alexandria and El Dekheila container terminals, to Hutchison Port Holdings, operator of both.

The Dubai firm also sold its 38.1 percent stake in United Power Company, which owns and operates the 270MW single-cycle gas-fired Manah Independent Power Project in Oman, to Saudi Arabian power company Khaled Juffali Energy and Utilities.

MENA Infrastructure originally invested in United Power in June 2009, acquiring the stake from GDF Suez and the International Finance Corporation.

Both investments were made through MENA Infrastructure Fund, the firm’s debut vehicle which closed on $300 million in 2008. MENA Infrastructure has not disclosed financial details of either transaction, either at the point of entry or exit.

“Our successful exits from Alexandria International Container Terminals and United Power Company validate MENA Infrastructure’s investment strategy to partner with leading developers of essential private infrastructure in high growth markets,” said Jeronimo Roura, MENA Infrastructure chief executive, in a statement.

The firm intends to continue investing in the region through its second fund, which it is currently raising with a $500 million target. Last month, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it was considering a $50 million commitment to MENA Infrastructure Fund II, a decision it expects to finalise by June.

According to the firm’s website, MENA Infrastructure Fund II will “have the same proven investment strategy” as its predecessor, targeting sub-sectors including energy, transportation, water/wastewater and social infrastructure. In addition to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and North Africa, however, Fund II’s geographic focus will be expanded to include Turkey, a market the firm describes as “dynamic and fast-growing” from an infrastructure perspective.

Other investments the Dubai-based firm made through Fund I include the Sohar Water and Power Project in Oman and the Qurayyah gas-fired power project in Saudi Arabia.

Founded in 2007, MENA Infrastructure is owned by HSBC, Fajr Capital and Waha Capital.

Fajr Capital, which will manage the second fund alongside Waha Capital, is itself backed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, the government of Brunei, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, and Saudi trading house Al Subeaei Group. The Abu Dhabi government also holds a 15 percent stake in Waha Capital.