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New PE firm launched in Middle East

The Group, a new United Arab Emirates private equity firm, has been set up to invest AED200m in the region.

A new private equity investment firm, The Group, has been announced in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to a report from AME Info.

We consider this an important step in accelerating UAE women’s contribution to the overall development of the economy.

Sulaiman al Fahim, CEO, The Group

The Group will have a total capital of AED200 million (€45 million; $55 million) and will be led by chairman His Highness Sheikh Saqer bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, who will take a 30 percent equity stake in the new firm.

The new fund will target investment opportunities in all seven emirates that comprise the UAE region and is already looking at development plans for new real estate and recreational projects, according to The Group CEO, Sulaiman al Fahim.

Al Fahim also revealed that The Group plans to appoint a UAE national woman to the firm’s board of directors. He told AME Info: “We are keen to give national women an opportunity to participate in chalking out business strategies for our future. We consider this an important step in accelerating UAE women’s contribution to the overall development of the economy.”

The focus on women’s participation in the region’s growing capital markets is clearly a topical one – Abu Dhabi-based The National Investor announced the launch yesterday of a new AED100 million TNI Dana Women Fund to invest in publicly traded securities and private alternative investment asset classes.

The National Investor has also just been named Best Equities House in the UAE by international publishing and events business Euromoney at their Awards for Excellence ceremony in Bahrain.

The launch of the new UAE-specific fund follows other recent fund launches in the broader Middle East region. In April the Capital Trust Group launched the €100 million Euromena fund and in March, Dubai-based Abraaj Capital began fundraising for its second buyout fund – a $500 million vehicle that will look at opportunities in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.