15 Sep 2013
GULF OPPORTUNITY FUND’S 9TH INVESTMENT IN THE REGION
Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, and Leejam Sports Company J.S.C (‘Leejam’), Saudi Arabia’s leading health and fitness club management company managing the brand “Fitness Time” today announced that Investcorp’s Gulf Opportunity Fund (the “Fund”) has acquired a 25% minority stake in the Leejam business. As part of the agreement, the Fund will be represented on Leejam’s Board and will play an active role in its strategic choices and growth opportunities.
Leejam was established in 2007 by CEO and founder Abdulmohsen Al Haqbani. The company today employs over 1,400 people and operates over 62 locations currently in Saudi Arabia and 22 branches under construction (two of which are in Dubai). Fitness Time is currently the largest network of Sports and Fitness clubs in the Middle East.
Mohammed Al Shroogi, Investcorp’s President, Gulf Business, said: “Leejam is the Fund’s third investment in the Kingdom and ninth in the wider region. This investment reaffirms our commitment to supporting regional businesses that are committed to grow and expand. We are happy to partner with Leejam and we believe that our combined efforts will result in even more success for the company.”
Walid Majdalani, Managing Director, Investcorp Corporate Investments-MENA said: “A key focus for our team will be to help generate additional growth opportunities for the business, while at the same time working with the management to consolidate the foundations, resources and infrastructure that are needed to support and ensure sustainable growth.”
Leejam founder and CEO Abdulmohsen Al Haqbani said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Investcorp, as we believe this will provide our business with the additional resources and expertise to continue to strengthen our brand, consolidate our position in our domestic market and facilitate potential growth across the Middle East.”
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 Leejam, follows a recently announced a 38% investment in AYTB, which was preceded by a 35% stake in Kuwait’s Automak and a 30% stake in Orka Group, one of Turkey’s leading and fastest growing menswear retailers. Last year, the Gulf Opportunity Fund successfully exited from its first investment in UAE-based Redington Gulf.