Beiruti private equity fund hints that Egyptian oil is next big thing

Beiruti private equity fund hints that Egyptian oil is next big thing
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Published August 29th, 2012 - 08:48 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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n this photo provided by the Cyprus Press and Information office, the Noble Energy company's offshore oil and gas rig is seen some 115 miles (185 kilometers) off Cyprus' south coast.
n this photo provided by the Cyprus Press and Information office, the Noble Energy company's offshore oil and gas rig is seen some 115 miles (185 kilometers) off Cyprus' south coast.

Beirut-based private equity fund EuroMena II has invested $20 million in Sakson Petroleum Services Holding S.A.L., a Lebanese-registered provider of oil and natural gas drilling services based in Egypt.

In a statement Tuesday, Capital Trust Group, the owners of EuroMena II, said that the investment is aimed at increasing the capital of Sakson Petroleum.

“EuroMena’s partnership will enable the group’s ongoing growth and expansion plans,” said Romen Mathieu, managing director of EuroMena II. “This investment will be the fourth deal executed by EuroMena II, with one to two future investments to be made in order for the fund to be fully invested.”

The chairman of Sakson Petroleum, Chukri Sakkal, said the partnership with EuroMena II was based on the company’s “excellent reputation in the market, which has been proven throughout the due diligence and negotiation period.”

“The EuroMena team is fully hands on and has turned this transition into a smooth and viable process due to their effective involvement to understand the business and align our growth strategies,” he said.

Amr Farrag, Sakson General Manager, said the group is now active in a number of African countries, including Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Algeria and Iraq. “[These are] among the fastest growing oil and exploration territories in the world.”

Farrag added the company plans to enter new markets, including in Libya and Gulf countries, which will help diversify the Group’s activity in the MENA region.

Sakson Petroleum will use EuroMena II’s investment to finance a pipeline that will be built over the next two years, and which is expected to cost in excess of $100 million.

According to Mathieu, preparations are ongoing to launch EuroMena III, the fourth private equity fund to be launched by the Capital Trust Group in the region.

The EuroMena III fund is expected to reach a size of around $200-300 million and will continue its strategy of investing in high-growth sectors in the Middle Eastern and North Africa.

Last year, EuroMena II invested $13.5 million in Khoury Home, a leading Lebanese consumer appliances retailer. Earlier in 2012 it bought a 51 percent share in Egyptian eye-surgery hospital group Al-Oyoun Al-Dawali Hospital.

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