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Newhaven Investments House, a collaboration of two leading firms, Newhaven Merchant Bankers and Investments House has announced the launch of Amara Holdings, a Sharia-compliant investment company which will focus on pre-IPO, private equity and private placement opportunities predominantly in China, as well as Mena and India.

Amara aims to raise up to $200 million initially during October, principally from investors in the Gulf. The company has plans to  go public with a listing on London's Alternative Investment Market shortly after closing. A number of Gulf investors have already committed a significant amount of capital to Amara, including Khalid Al Mukairin Group, Al Sorayai Group (Saudi Arabia) and Ahmad Al Khemeiri (UAE).  

"Two further GCC investors, Mohammad Al Khalil (Saudi Arabia) and Ahmad Al Omani (Kuwait) are also Amara Board members," the company said in a statement.

Amara is looking at China, India and the Middle East and Northern Emirate's infrastructure, utility, real estate and industrial services sectors for investment. "The current market environment presents us with significant opportunities as the price of assets in our target markets have reduced and we are now seeing valuations at very attractive multiples,” Dr Musab Jassim, executive chairman, Amara Holdings said.

Amara is an offshore company pursuing an onshore listing. It has already made its first investment into China with a key strategic partner, Pan China Construction Group. The company has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Pan China Construction Group, to co-invest in joint ventures. The first of the joint ventures, China Infrastructure Corporation Limited (CIC), has already been formed. CIC, which is 51 per cent owned by Amara, will develop a logistics park, called Ningxia International Logistic Centre, in Ningxia province of China.

Amara is run by Newhaven Investments House, a company formed specially to manage Amara. It is a collaboration of two leading firms, Newhaven Merchant Bankers and Investments House. Newhaven Merchant Bankers has offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia and its principals have a strong track record managing over $4.5 billion in transactions in the target markets. Investments House is the investment arm of a prominent Gulf family.

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