DUBAI — The global Islamic finance industry, valued at $800 billion, is growing by an estimated 15-20 per cent per annum, according to Shaikh Mohamed bin Jassem Al Thani, Chairman of Corecap, a regional investment and advisory firm.
Announcing the launch of the $150 million Corecap Islamic Private Equity Fund I (CIPEF I), Al Thani said the fund will eye Shariah-compliant Private Equity investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through equity participation and Shariah-compliant mezzanine structure.
The fund will acquire majority stakes in stable and mature businesses through funding growth capital, MBOs, MBIs, LBOs and recapitalisations. As one of its kind, CIPEF I achieves a breakthrough in the sphere of Islamic Finance, making it the first Private Equity fund that offers a Shariah-compliant mezzanine structure worldwide. This innovative structure overcomes one of the main traditional funding barriers for the growth of the Islamic Private Equity Industry. The announcement was made at the Qatar Economic Forum.
Corecap’s solid shareholder base is led and represented on the board by the Chairman Shaikh Mohamed bin Jassem Al Thani, former minister of economy and commerce in Qatar, Vice-Chairman Rohit Walia, CEO and Managing Director of Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) and Alpen Capital (ME), leading Swiss private and investment banks, and by CEO and Board Member Khaled Hassan Rashed and Managing Director Omar Adel El Maghawry both representing CORE PARTNERS, an investment management firm.
“Regional economies have witnessed unprecedented growth in recent years resulting in vast excess liquidity which is seeking suitable investment opportunities. At the same time, the Islamic Finance industry is undergoing a tremendous transformation both in terms of market breadth and depth on a regional as well as on a global scale. Corecap has succeeded in structuring a truly unparalleled fund tailored to meet the increasing appetite for such sophisticated and ethical Islamic investment products,” Al Thani said.
Omar Adel El Maghawry, Managing Director of Corecap, said: “The fund is in line with Corecap’s ‘Invest and Grow’ strategy which focuses on mid to late stage companies in the MENA region. Once an investment is identified, Corecap conducts a thorough due diligence to determine its value creation strategy and a clear exit route for value realisation. Corecap creates value in businesses through focused post-acquisition management strategies including operational and financial re-engineering, strategic re-definition, spin-off of non-core assets and establishing consolidation platforms for growth via acquisitions. The interests of shareholders and management of investee companies are aligned through various incentive schemes including stock options, thus sharing the value created upon exit.