Private credit lender Blue Owl Capital Inc. is formalizing plans to open an office and hire a team in Dubai to focus on capital raising, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The move is a stepping stone toward a broader Middle Eastern presence, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the details are private.
The plans come on the heels of a $1 billion commitment from Abu Dhabi wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. to Blue Owl’s technology lending strategy. It’s the latest in a series of private credit investments from the region, which is becoming an increasingly important player in the $1.5 trillion market.
A spokesperson for New York-based Blue Owl declined to com-ment.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has provided anchor capital commitments to managers including AGL Credit Management, Apollo Global Management Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc. for credit investing.
Meanwhile, Mubadala formed an joint venture with Ares Management Corp. to acquire direct-lending secondary stakes and it plans to buy a majority stake in Fortress Investment Group, a private credit and equity manager.
Blue Owl’s new Middle East office will add to the nearly dozen locations around the globe where the firm already has a presence including Hong Kong, London, Singapore, and Tokyo.
Money managers are vying for a slice of the growing private credit market, which emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
Private credit funds are increasingly competing with banks, including for financing large company buyouts. That has only intensified in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure, attracting the attention of sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf, including the $445 billion Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
QIA has been very active in private and public credit over the past few years, CEO Mansoor Ebrahim al-Mahmoud told an audience at a forum in May.
“So normally institutions like us, which are very liquid, very long term, have a risk appetite in these types of investment. I would advise that for the next maybe one year, the credit space would be an interesting space to deploy some investment,” al-Mahmoud said at the time.
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