The Middle East is an unusual emerging market. It attracts investors with its oil wealth (+40% of the world’s proven oil reserves). Its consumer and competitive dynamics are fairly stable and predictable. And it has a +70-year history of successful deals with Western partners. All of these things make it particularly attractive and manageable for global value players.
But the number of companies in the region – and deals – is quite small. Especially when compared with the large amount of local capital. So stocks and public bids attract too much money. And attractive private deals are hard to access. Typically, the biggest challenges for the MENA investor are deal access and valuation.
With this in mind, we spoke with Fadi Arbid, the CEO of Riyadh-based Amwal Al Khaleej, one of the Middle East’s first private equity firms. Launched in 2004, Amwal has delivered one of its most successful PE track records. We discussed with Fadi how the financial crisis has impacted the region and where the opportunities are likely to be in the next several years. (continued here)