Abraaj completes first deal for RE fund ASAS

The Dubai-based private equity firm has chosen an office building in Egypt as the first acquisition for its income-generating properties fund, ASAS.

Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity business based in the Middle East with more than $6 billion in assets under management, has made the debut purchase for its real estate fund ASAS. In an announcement on the subject, the firm said it had purchased an unnamed Grade-A office building in Cairo, Egypt for an undisclosed sum.

The ASAS fund is targeting income-generating properties across the Middle East via investments complying with Shariah law. The firm said it wanted to “capitalise on the opportunity resulting from the lack of institutional ownership of commercial real estate in the Gulf and wider Middle East and North Africa region, as well as the asset-heavy balance sheets of many regional companies and the severe undersupply in certain real estate sectors.”

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, managing director at Abraaj Capital, said: “The ASAS private equity real estate platform is a demonstration of Abraaj Capital’s commitment to its holistic alternative asset management strategy, leveraging the firm’s expertise in region with the support of s dedicated real estate investment team.”

The ASAS fund can invest in a wide range of real estate sectors, Abraaj said, including logistics warehouses, education and healthcare facilities, supermarkets, low- to middle- income and corporate housing, as well as infrastructure assets.

Formed in 2002, Abraaj has since raised almost $7 billion in equity from investors. The firm said it has distributed about $3 billion back to its investors since forming, completed 36 investments across 11 countries and has achieved more than 20 exits.