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Carlyle to take stake in Saudi Al Jammaz

Dubai, November 29, 2011

Private equity firm Carlyle Group is buying a 42 percent stake in Saudi food company Al Jammaz Group, three sources familiar with the deal said Tuesday.

The  acquisition, Carlyle's second in Saudi Arabia and its fifth in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, is expected to be unveiled early in December, an industry source close to the transaction told Reuters.     

A Carlyle executive declined to comment.  Sources had told Reuters earlier in November that the Washington, D.C.-based firm was on the cusp of the acquisition.  

Al Jammaz has operations in agriculture, food services and also provides pilgrimage services in Makkah and Madinah through its travel arm.

Carlyle is also in the final stages of buying a 48 percent stake in Turkey's Bahcesehir K-12 Schools through its Mena fund, one person familiar with the matter said.

The buyout group raised $500 million in 2007 for its debut Mena fund and, in the Gulf, has so far only invested in General Lighting Co, Saudi Arabia's largest lighting fixtures manufacturer and supplier. It is eyeing a 2013 initial public offering in Riyadh for that investment, sources have said.

The fund will be more than 70 percent deployed after closing two deals by the end of the year, in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Carlyle's Middle East head said earlier this month.

Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi government fund, brought a 7.5 percent stake in Carlyle in 2007 and invested a further $500 million in 2010.

Carlyle's rival KKR & Co got a licence in June to conduct business in the Kingdom, while Standard Chartered's private equity arm bought a minority stake in a Saudi Binladin Group unit for $75 million in August, in its first deal in Saudi Arabia. - Reuters




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Stake | Carlyle | Al Jammaz |

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