Abu Dhabi’s Gulf Capital plans to launch a $750 million fund next year to invest in sectors such as technology, healthcare and health technology, according to the company’s chief executive.
It will be the investment company's fourth private equity fund.
"It will be essentially focusing on [the] Gulf, Egypt but from here, also pushing into Asia and Africa. We would like to invest in growth markets," Karim El Solh told The National in an interview.
Gulf Capital plans to close the fund in 12 to 18 months as it seeks to invest in new markets.
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.
The company’s $750m GC Equity Partners Fund III, which was launched in 2015 is 78 per cent deployed and is expected to close this year, Mr El Solh said.
The company on Tuesday said it acquired two US HealthTech companies Eclat Health and Hansei Solutions for $60m as it focuses on boosting its healthcare-focused revenue cycle management platform.
“This is the first time we [have] invested in the US market and is very exciting. The [revenue cycle management] market is growing 14 per cent so it is exciting for us,” he said referring to the transaction.
Gulf Capital already has an investment in Accumed, one of the top RCM providers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Eclat, based in Virginia, offers a range of RCM services including coding and auditing, clinical documentation improvement and billing services. The company was founded by Karthik and Sneha Polsani in 2008.
Gulf Capital has also invested in Kuiper Group, which specialises in supplying rig crews to international offshore oil and gas drilling and construction companies, payment solution provider Geidea and healthcare booking platform Vezeeta.com, among others.
It holds stakes in the UAE-based IVI Middle East, which provides in vitro fertilisation [IVF] services to patients, as well as Cedar White Bradley, which provides intellectual property services throughout the Mena region.
“We’ve done six deals in the healthcare sector and we wanted to do more and it is a resilient sector. One thing that really excites us is HealthTech, the intersection of healthcare and technology,” Mr El Solh said.
Other companies in the region are also increasing their investment in the healthcare sector as demand for hospitals and other related services increase in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dubai-listed investment company Amanat Holdings acquired Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Centre for $232m in one of the region's biggest healthcare deals earlier this month.
Mr El Solh said Gulf Capital is aiming to invest in sectors such as technology, online payments, healthcare, HealthTech, business services and consumers.
“If you look at the third fund, when we launched in 2015, we brought a global consultant and we looked at 80 mega trends, studied 40 sectors in the region and anything that is not growing [at a] double-digit growth rate and facing headwinds, we avoided.”
"We didn’t do any deals in oil and gas construction, retail, F&B or hospitality. We went big in technology, online payments, healthcare, HealthTech, business services and consumers. That has paid off very nicely.”
“In 2020, on an average, the total sales of our portfolio companies grew 20 per cent. These companies are beating budget and are growing at a faster rate, more than what we expected.”
Gulf Capital also opened its 1 billion Saudi riyals ($266.6m) Antara residential development in Riyadh last year. The project is “leasing fast”, Mr El Solh said.
The Galleria mall in Abu Dhabi, which the company owns, is also “doing very well”, he added.
“We had 22 million visitors in 2020, exceeding our original targets and the sales of stores on average increased 18 per cent during the last quarter.”