Citadel Capital Ranked Africa’s Top Private Equity Firm

Citadel Capital has amassed one of the world's largest pools of investment capital according to a report from Private Equity International that finds the firm is the 75th largest in the world

Citadel Capital has raised US$ 4.1 billion in equity for investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) since 2004, making the firm the largest private equity investor in Africa and the seventy-fifth largest globally, according to Private Equity International’s PEI 300, an annual ranking of the largest international private equity firms based on funds raised in the previous five years.

In the same period, the firm has generated US$ 2.2 billion in cash returns to investors, more than any other private equity firm in the MENA region.

“Citadel Capital’s model is differentiated in that we are a principal investor, not just an asset manager,” said Citadel Capital Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “We align interests by raising Opportunity-Specific Funds focused on specific deals or industries, inviting our regional limited partners and co-investors to invest alongside Citadel Capital, and always taking at least a 10% stake ourselves in these OSFs.”

Citadel Capital is a control investor that looks to grow national and regional leaders in sectors supported by MENA’s natural advantages (low energy and, in certain countries, low labor costs), by positive macro aspects of emerging market investing (favorable demographics; supportive government reforms; emerging, un-leveraged consuming class) and by geographical advantages (the Suez Canal as a global trade corridor, low outbound freight costs from North Africa to Europe).

Since it was founded in 2004, the firm has established a portfolio of 19 Opportunity-Specific Funds that currently control investments worth US$ 8.3 billion. Citadel Capital’s investments cross 14 industries and 12 countries in the region.

“Our continued ability to raise funds and, more importantly, generate significant cash returns for our LPs and co-investors, is a powerful endorsement of our investment model and the region’s readiness for direct investment,” Heikal continued. “While much of the developed world is in recession, MENA economies are still growing, albeit at a slower rate than last year. Amid these challenges, Citadel Capital is currently focusing on transactions in the region which that allow us to lock in large, attractive investment opportunities with relatively limited up-front equity commitments, that can then be developed incrementally as the world economy recovers and the region assumes a more prominent role.”

Private equity fundraising for emerging markets reached a record-breaking US$ 66.5 billion in 2008 according to a recent report from the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA). This figure includes just over US$ 9 billion directed toward the Middle East and Africa.

Despite continuing global turmoil, real GDP growth across the MENA region is expected to clock in at just over 3.5% in 2009, according to the latest projection from the International Monetary Fund. That makes MENA the second-fastest growing region after Asia.


Citadel Capital is the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa. The firm focuses on building platform investments throughout the region in selected industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity-Specific Funds. Citadel Capital’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.3 billion in 14 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, the firm has returned more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash to investors, more than any other private equity firm in the region.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications,
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)

Tel: +20 2 2791-4440 • Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 16 662-0002