Abu Dhabi’s Gulf Capital acquires majority stake in CWB Group

CWB provides patent and trademark services for Fortune 500 companies across the Mena region

Dubai, May, 27, 2019: Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital gestures during the interview at his office in Dubai. Satish Kumar/ For the National / Story by Sarah Townsend

Abu Dhabi-based private equity firm Gulf Capital acquired a majority stake in CWB Group, an intellectual property services provider in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The two companies did not disclose the deal value.

“Gulf Capital has been particularly active over the last two years, with the successful closure of 10 new and follow-on investments at the portfolio companies' level. This latest investment in CWB cements our established strategy of acquiring majority stakes in market-leading companies regionally and taking them global,” Karim El Solh, chief executive of Gulf Capital, said in a statement on Monday.

Founded in 2006, CWB provides patent and trademark services including counselling, clearing, filing, prosecution, maintenance and enforcement services to Fortune 500 companies across the Mena region.

The intellectual property services market in the Mena, Africa and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) region is valued at over $350 million annually and is expected to grow at  6 per cent per annum over the next 5 years, according to Gulf Capital.

“We intend to expand rapidly into new geographies while leveraging our new partner’s experience in building global platforms out of the GCC,” Halim Shehadeh, chief executive and founder of the CWB Group, said.

“Our partnership with Gulf Capital is a major step towards reaching our goal of becoming the leading provider of IP services in emerging markets as we expand across new geographies.”

Gulf Capital, which manages more than $2.5 billion in assets across seven funds and investment vehicles, invests in asset classes including private equity, private debt and real estate.

Earlier this year, Gulf Capital sold Metamed, one of the region's biggest medical services companies, to Ray Lab, a company owned by a consortium of international investors, for €100m ($117.3m).