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Ithmar to support Panceltica’s growth

Dubai, April 30, 2008

Ithmar Capital, a leading private equity firm in the GCC, has partnered with Qatar-based Panceltica, principal provider of fast track housing across the Middle East, to support Panceltica’s aggressive growth and expansion strategy throughout the region.

Panceltica recently became the largest company to float on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) this year. Ithmar Fund II was brought in as a strategic shareholder at pre-IPO phase with a 14pc stake as well as a board seat.

“We are uniquely placed to provide Panceltica with innovative investment and business development strategies to tap into the phenomenal growth potential of the region,” said founder and managing partner of Ithmar Capital Faisal Belhoul.

“Our highly-focused private equity specialist team is not only experienced in myriad local expansion opportunities, but is also able to leverage our global network and international expertise to deliver exceptional results for our clients,” he added.

Panceltica’s Group turnover in 2007 was $123.9 million and it had a market capitalisation on IPO of $467.4 million, specialising in building onsite steel structures for housing and mixed-use projects in the Middle East.

The company hopes to benefit from the ongoing building boom in the Gulf and has plans to expand rapidly throughout the region.  It is rolling out a new technology that enables it to build light-weight steel-framed structures up to eight times more quickly than traditional construction techniques.

“It’s our aim to position Panceltica as the region’s leading supplier of fast-track housing.  We firmly believe our alliance with Ithmar Capital, with its true knowledge of the GCC investment landscape, will provide us with the necessary platform to achieve our ambitious regional expansion plans,” said Panceltica’s CEO Paul Fraser.

Ithmar believes the UAE’s economic prospects remain robust with no apparent let up in the current boom. The sector remains upbeat, with analyst reports estimating the value of projects planned and underway in the GCC at $1.1 trillion. 

Half of these are infrastructure development initiatives and of these, more than two thirds are still in the design and planning phase, a tenth are out to bid and 15 per cent are currently under construction.

“The UAE is undoubtedly the largest of the GCC’s construction sector with the highest growth. The Emirates currently has US $300 billion worth of projects under way. Key drivers of the UAE’s real estate sector are its increasing population, strong GDP growth, high liquidity and pro-active government policies,” added co-founder and managing partner of Ithmar Capital Khaldoun Haj Hasan.

“The Middle East’s construction industry is ripe for private equity involvement to assist partners in growing and realising their maximum value while providing an excellent vehicle for investors,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Ithmar | AIM | Panceltica |

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