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Qatar Insurance Company backs Lagoon Capital to set up MENA private equity house

Monday, November 25, 2013
Opalesque Industry Update - Lagoon Capital Partners Limited (“Lagoon Capital”), a private equity and advisory firm based in the Dubai International Financial Center and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, and HarbourVest Partners L.P. (“HarbourVest”), one of the premier global institutions focused on secondary private equity, have entered into an agreement for secondary private equity whereby they will jointly source, evaluate and invest in private equity assets held by investors from the MENA region.

This will enable Lagoon Capital, which is backed by Qatar Insurance Company, to combine its regional relationships and investing expertise with HarbourVest’s 25+ year track record in evaluating, structuring and investing in secondary private equity portfolios globally.

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 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.

Anuj Khanna, CEO of Lagoon Capital said, “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. To date, due to the lack of development of a secondary private equity market in the region, exits have been challenging. 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.”

David Atterbury, Managing Director of HarbourVest, added, “We are keen to bring our secondary investing expertise to the MENA region. 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. Much like other regions, the MENA market also stands to benefit greatly from the entry of global secondary players and we're pleased to join together with Lagoon Capital to support this development. Lagoon’s regional experience, reputation and connectivity will enable us to jointly pursue opportunities to the benefit of all stakeholders. Our most recent secondary fund, Dover Street VIII, with US$3.6 billion of capital will be the primary source of funds for these initiatives.”

Sunil Talwar, Deputy CEO of Qatar Insurance Company, also commented, “We are delighted that Lagoon Capital and HarbourVest have entered into this agreement for the MENA region. 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.”

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