Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co said on Monday it has set up a subsidiary in Dubai to do business in the Middle East and North Africa.
KKR MENA Ltd was granted a license by the Dubai Financial Services Authority to operate from the Dubai International Financial Centre, it said.
The private equity major appointed a head of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in September last year. Makram Azar joined from Lehman Brothers, where he was global head of sovereign wealth funds.
In a press statement, KKR MENA said that it will pursue private equity and infrastructure transactions in the region and engage in the distribution of various KKR products.
Abdulla Al Awar, Managing Director of the DIFC Authority said, “The MENA region, and especially the Arabian Gulf, has been relatively less impacted by the ongoing global financial crisis than North America, Europe or Asia. The Gulf has been particularly well-cushioned by the windfall revenues from the high oil prices witnessed during most of 2008. This surplus income has been earmarked for continued investments in infrastructure projects to upgrade existing ones and build new capacities.
“Concurrently, our region is also witnessing a deepening of the financial markets and private equity is not only abundant here, but is fairly active. We are pleased to note that a globally respected firm such as KKR has chosen Dubai as their base to operate across the MENA region. We wish them the very best and offer all support for their continued success as we welcome them to the DIFC,” Al Awar added.
Led by Makram Azar, managing director and head of Middle East and North Africa, KKR MENA is a newly formed subsidiary of KKR, especially created to do business from the DIFC. Its area of operations will cover the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. KKR MENA Limited will pursue private equity and infrastructure transactions in the MENA region and engage in the distribution of various KKR products.
Azar said: “We are delighted to officially launch KKR’s office in the DIFC and our operations in the rapidly developing Middle East and North Africa region. There are a wide variety of attractive opportunities in these markets and our professionals here look forward to capitalising on KKR’s global resources to build an exceptional franchise.”