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Abu Dhabi fund ADQ invests $125 mln in region’s first female-led Aliph Capital

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Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ has invested $125 million in the debut fund launched by Aliph Capital, the Middle East’s first female-led private equity firm.

The investment announced by ADQ and Aliph’s founder accounts for half of the $250 million Aliph Fund I (LP), which will focus on medium-sized companies in the region.

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“Aliph Capital will seek to acquire sizeable, active positions in privately owned mid-market companies across the GCC that possess robust business fundamentals,” the ADQ statement said.

The smallest of Abu Dhabi’s three main sovereign wealth funds, ADQ has emerged as one of the region’s most active
dealmakers. It began in 2018 as a holding company for government assets and has been consolidating its portfolio, privatizing some assets and making strategic acquisitions to build “national champions.”

Aliph Capital’s “entire focus” will be on its first fund, “but our vision is to be a leading alternative asset manager based out of this region,” Chief Executive Huda al-Lawati, who founded the business last year and is the majority shareholder, told Reuters.

The firm plans to deploy its first fund across about 10 to 12 companies, Lawati said.

The hold period for portfolio companies is five to seven years, Lawati said, adding that ADQ’s interest in Aliph Capital was because of its focus on small and medium companies.

Read more: Abu Dhabi’s ADQ backs $200 million fund for early-stage tech startups

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