Lagoon Capital Partners, a private equity and advisory firm in which Qatar Insurance Company is a shareholder, has sealed a partnership with US-based HarbourVest for developing the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region’s secondary private equity market.
They will jointly source, evaluate and invest in private equity assets held by investors from the Mena region.
The strategic relationship is focused on assets in the Mena region or sourced from investors in the region.
The opportunities may include the acquisition of LP (limited partners) commitments in private equity funds, the purchase of portfolios of direct private equity investments, spin outs from existing private equity platforms and facilitating the restructuring of underperforming private equity funds.
“Regional investors have been important players in the private equity asset class globally. However, many investors need to reposition their portfolios or exit positions entirely due to financial, strategic or regulatory considerations,” Anuj Khanna, CEO of Lagoon Capital said.
To date, due to the lack of development of a secondary private equity market in the region, exits have been challenging, he said.
“Our focus is to provide discrete and comprehensive liquidity solutions to our counterparties for their regional and global assets and, at the same time, help the natural and necessary evolution of the secondary market, which will in turn strengthen the appeal of private equity in the region as an asset class relative to other sources of capital,” he said.
As has been the case in the US and Europe, secondary market activity has played a critical role in the growth of private equity through market cycles, according to David Atterbury, managing director of HarbourVest.
“Much like other regions, the Mena market also stands to benefit greatly from the entry of global secondary players,” he said, adding HarbourVest’s most recent secondary fund, Dover Street VIII, with $3.6bn of capital will be the primary source of funds for these initiatives.
“We believe their combined expertise and focus on secondaries will provide regional investors a compelling alternative to achieving liquidity on their portfolios, while also freeing up capital for new investment opportunities,” Sunil Talwar, Deputy CEO of Qatar Insurance Company, said.