West Palm Beach (HedgeCo.net) - Hedge fund and alternative investor, Investcorp, along with its consortium partners Eastgate Capital Group and The National Investor, announced the acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi gold and jewelry makers, L'azurde.
L'azurde had 2008 revenues of more than US$ 500 million and grew EBITDA by 14% over the previous year, making it over four times the size of its nearest competitor, employing over 2000 people, selling throughout the Middle East through 4,200 wholesale accounts, including to secondary markets through its distribution capabilities in the UAE. In addition, it has 18 flagship retail stores across the region.
Investcorp has made the investment through its $1.1 billion Gulf Opportunity Fund I, the first fund from Investcorp's Gulf Growth Capital business, launched in 2007. This acquisition comes two months after the Fund closed its first deal, the November 2008 acquisition of Redington Gulf, the leading distributor and service provider of IT and telecom products in the Middle East and Africa. The Investcorp-led consortium will be the majority shareholder in L'azurde, and will help to institutionalise the company, to expand its markets and to build its brand across MENA and internationally.
"Despite challenging economic and market conditions, this is evidence of the resilience of Investcorp's unique business model." Nemir Kirdar, Executive Chairman & CEO of Investcorp, said, "Good business opportunities are available in MENA and deals can be done. Our Gulf franchise and local reputation were key in getting us this deal and in forging this partnership...to add value to L'azurde over the coming years."