Bloomberg News

Carlyle to Buy a Minority Stake in Saudi Arabian Food Company

October 17, 2011

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Carlyle Group, the Washington-based private equity firm, expects to buy a minority stake in a food- processing company in Saudi Arabia before the end of the year, its managing director for the Gulf region said.

Speaking at the Super Return Middle East 2011 in Dubai today, Carlyle’s Firas Nasir declined to identify the company.

Both of Carlyle’s investment in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council have been in Saudi Arabia, “because there is a clear path to exit” through initial public offerings in the country, Nasir said at the conference. Saudi Arabia is Carlyle’s “primary market” in the Gulf because its larger population allows companies to grow and you “can very easily help these companies expand across the GCC,” he said.

Carlyle raised $500 million for its first Middle East and North Africa fund in March 2009 after seeking as much as twice that amount. The company bought a 30 percent stake in General Lighting Co., Saudi Arabia’s biggest lighting-fixtures manufacturer, in 2010 without disclosing its price.

“Our call is to do a deal a year,” Nasir said.

--Editors: Edward Evans, Stephen Taylor.

To contact the reporters on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at

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