Amanat Holdings seeks more deals to capitalise on Abraaj collapse

The company is looking at a “couple more” healthcare and education deals in the Arabian Gulf region, India and Egypt


Dr. Shamsheer Vayali, MD, VPS Healthcare; at World Government Summit 2018.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/ The National)

Reporter: Sarah Townsend
Section: NA
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Amanat Holdings is scouting for deals as the investment firm seeks to capitalise on the collapse of Dubai-based buyout firm Abraaj Group.

“We want to be number one and now is the real opportunity to gain that position,” managing director Shamsheer Vayalil said in an interview. “Amanat is well poised to lead the healthcare and education space in the region and abroad in the incumbent era.”

The company is looking at a “couple more” healthcare and education deals in the Arabian Gulf region, India and Egypt after some of its biggest transactions in recent weeks, Mr Vayalil said. Amanat has deployed less than 60 per cent of its Dh2.5 billion ($680 million) paid-up capital without raising debt, which “positions us strongly to flex our financial muscle and gain market position,” he said.


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Dubai-based Amanat is planning to expand after the collapse of Abraaj, one of the biggest buyout firms in the Middle East, sent shockwaves through the region’s private equity industry. Since allegations that Abraaj misused client money surfaced in February, most private equity deals and fundraising in the region have come to a halt. Abraaj is now undergoing a court-supervised restructuring.

Amanat expects markets to “move on” from the collapse of Abraaj and the company is focusing on “value systems, transparency, compliance and governance” to make sure it doesn’t “repeat the mistakes that others made,” Mr Vayalil said.

The company this week said it acquired the real estate assets of North London Collegiate School Dubai for Dh360m with an additional commitment of up to Dh45m for the school’s expansion. It has also reached an initial deal to buy Middlesex University’s Dubai campus from Abraaj for $100m, people familiar with the matter said last week.