Qalaa Holdings’ roots go back to its founding in 2004 as Citadel Capital, an Egyptian private equity firm with EGP 2 million in paid-in capital. Just eight years later, in 2012, the company was the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa with 19 Opportunity-Specific Funds controlling platform companies with investments of USD 9.5 billion. Investments spanned 15 countries and 15 industries including energy distribution, solid waste management, agrifoods, cement, refining, transportation and glass manufacturing.

Outstanding returns

From 2004 to 2012, the company raised and invested equity of more than USD 4.9 billion, including more than USD 940 million of its own capital. In the same period, Qalaa Holdings generated more than USD 2.2 billion in cash proceeds from five successful exits (three full and two partial) on investments of USD 650 million, more than any other private equity firm in the region.

Flexible Approach

Between 2004 and 2012, Qalaa Holdings completed a total of 54 acquisitions and new company formations, pursuing control investments across the deal-type spectrum, including turnarounds, buyouts, consolidations / industry roll-ups and greenfields.

The company’s approach was to raise equity via Opportunity-Specific Funds that would in turn control a subsidiary company in a specific industry; the company also successfully created two standard institutional funds — the MENA and Africa Joint Investment Funds — its first standard institutional funds.

From its first investment, the company’s business model was to pursue an incremental approach, allowing it to nurture and build its investments through challenging economic climates, helping good companies become great; domestic leaders become regional powerhouses.

Sophisticated LPs

From the beginning, Qalaa Holdings has built a stellar reputation and established a long track record as a trusted partner-of-choice for sophisticated international LPs including development finance institutions. Qalaa Holdings’ shareholders and the limited partners in its OSFs have included leading investors and family offices from Egypt, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and North Africa, as well as a growing base of international institutional investors.

Ranked Largest Firm in Africa

A founding member of the Egyptian Private Equity Association (EPEA), and a board member of the African Private Equity Association (AVCA), Qalaa Holdings was ranked five years running as the largest private equity firm in Africa by Private Equity International on the PEI 300, which also ranks the company among the 10 largest in global emerging markets.