ADQ, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, has invested $125 million in Aliph Capital, the Middle East’s first female-led private equity firm.
The investment announced by ADQ and Aliph’s creator amounts for half of the $250 million Aliph Fund I (LP), which will focus on regional medium-sized businesses.
“Aliph Capital will seek to acquire large, active holdings in privately held mid-market firms across the GCC with strong business fundamentals,” according to an ADQ statement.
Although ADQ is the smallest of Abu Dhabi’s three major sovereign wealth funds, it has emerged as one of the region’s most aggressive dealmakers. It was founded in 2018 as a holding company for government assets, and since then it has been consolidating its portfolio, privatising some businesses, and making targeted acquisitions in order to produce “national champions.”
The “entire emphasis” of Aliph Capital will be on its initial fund, “but our ambition is to be a prominent alternative asset manager based out of this area,” said Chief Executive Huda al-Lawati, who launched the company last year and is the largest shareholder.
According to Lawati, the business intends to invest its initial money among 10 to 12 enterprises. Lawati stated that the holding time for portfolio firms is five to seven years, and that ADQ was interested in Aliph Capital because of its concentration on small and medium-sized businesses.