Aberdeen Standard, Investec in Gulf joint venture

Martin Gilbert

Bahrain-based private equity firm Investcorp and Edinburgh-based investment giant Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) on Wednesday announced the launch of a joint venture that will invest in social and core infrastructure projects in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

“The joint venture will benefit from ASI’s strong track-record of investing in 120 social infrastructure projects over the past 20 years and Investcorp’s extensive private equity expertise and market reach in the Gulf,” said the companies in a statement.

“GCC countries have a population of around 57 million people and have almost half the world’s oil reserves.

“The region has benefited from the world’s demand for oil over recent decades but their governments are now taking steps to diversify economies away from oil.

“As part of this, various initiatives have been launched to prioritize the development of critical social and core infrastructure.

“The joint venture will actively target greenfield and brownfield social and core essential infrastructure assets in sectors including healthcare, education, utilities, social housing, smart cities, roads and rail.”

Investcorp executive chairman Mohammed Alardhi said: “This joint venture is a milestone for Investcorp and is in line with our strategy of diversifying our offerings to clients.

“Our investment objectives in the GCC are aligned with government initiatives, and by investing in critical infrastructure we are supporting the growth of those economies.

“Our deep knowledge of the GCC markets coupled with ASI’s expertise and strong track record in investing in infrastructure projects serves to strengthen our position as a crucial private investor in the GCC region.”

Investcorp’s co-CEO Hazem Ben-Gacem said: “Infrastructure is a unique and highly sought-after investment, especially in times of global economic uncertainty, because it is typically characterized by stable and predictable long-term cash flow.

“Moreover, there is a healthy pipeline of infrastructure projects and deals in the GCC, which means there is a potential to generate real value for those types of investment.

“We are delighted to forge a joint venture with ASI because they are pioneers in investing in infrastructure globally.”

Aberdeen Standard Investments co-CEO Martin Gilbert said: “The partnership brings together ASI’s strong track record of over 20 years in concession and social infrastructure fund management with Investcorp’s excellent relationships and reputation in the Gulf as well as wider asset management expertise.

“We are looking forward to working with Investcorp as part of this exciting opportunity to invest in the long-term growth story of the GCC and to expand our geographic footprint.”