30 Sep 2012
GULF OPPORTUNITY FUND’S SIXTH INVESTMENT IN THE REGION
Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, and Automak Automotive Company K.S.C.C (“Automak”), the leading independent vehicle leasing and rental company in Kuwait, announced today that a definitive agreement has been signed under which Investcorp’s Gulf Opportunity Fund will acquire a 35% stake in Automak through a capital injection.
Founded in 2002 by Al Kharafi Projects Co. W.L.L.and Mr. Ghazi Omar, Automak is one of the few major players in the vehicles rental and fleet leasing business with over 15% market share in Kuwait. Automak operates a fleet in excess of 4,500 vehicles and provides a wide spectrum of services and products including vehicle leasing, rental, quick service and distribution of spare parts, tires and lube oil. Its premier clients include national oil companies, public ministries and multinational corporations.
The vehicle rental and leasing sector is a growing industry in the GCC region as companies seek to de-lever their balance sheets and favor renting fleets of vehicles versus ownership. In Kuwait, the sector is expected to sustain its strong growth, supported by favorable demographics, further expansion of the oil sector and increased government expenditure. This trend is expected to continue across the GCC and the wider MENA region.
Mohammed Al Shroogi, Investcorp’s President, Gulf Business, said: “Automak is our sixth investment in the region and our second in a strong and established Kuwaiti company. We are proud to be entering into this partnership with Automak and its shareholders. We believe Automak is a market leader in an attractive sector with a robust business model and is well positioned to grow locally and regionally. We look forward to working closely with Automak to continue growing and enhancing its performance.”
Ghazi Omar, Vice Chairman, Automak, said: “In just ten years, Automak has been able to establish itself as one of the largest players in the Kuwaiti vehicle leasing sector. We believe that there are attractive opportunities for growth for us and this is why we looked for a partner with experience, capital and know-how. We believe that Investcorp will be instrumental in the success of our next phase of growth.
“Investcorp is a pioneer of private equity in the region and is respected globally for its expertise in this space. Our solid track record and enhanced equity base combined with Investcorp’s strategic support will help accelerate Automak’s growth in Kuwait and abroad. We see tremendous potential in corporate, oil and individual leasing sectors in Kuwait and other markets in the MENA region,” he added.
Investcorp’s US$ 1 billion Gulf Opportunity Fund invests in companies in the GCC and Turkey as well as the wider MENA region. Its investment in Automak comes two months after it acquired a 30% stake in Orka Group, one of Turkey’s leading and fastest growing menswear retailers. Other investments include stakes in Kuwaiti Gulf Cryo, Saudi L’azurde and Turkish Tiryaki Agro. The Gulf Opportunity Fund successfully exited earlier this year from its first investment in UAE-based Redington Gulf.
Since inception, Investcorp has invested in 103 companies in North America, Europe and MENA representing $33 billion in value. These investments include prestigious luxury brands such as Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Chaumet, Breguet, Ebel and Carter’s.