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Investcorp to acquire stake in Middle East industrial gas manufacturer

Investcorp’s Gulf Opportunity Fund is to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Gulf Cryo, the Al Huneidi family-owned company that manufactures industrial, medical and specialty gases in the Middle East.

Gulf Cryo was founded in Kuwait in 1953 by the Al Huneidi family and has expanded over two generations to become one of the most successful family businesses in the Gulf. 

Under the leadership of its current chairman and chief executive Amer Salim Al Huneidi, Gulf Cryo has expanded its presence from Kuwait into the UAE, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan.

Gulf Cryo produces and transports specialty gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon and helium to a broad customer base operating in a wide range of industries such as oil and gas, glass, food and beverages, healthcare, metals, construction and chemicals.

The industrial gases market in the Middle East has estimated annual sales of USD1.5bn and has been growing at an average of 12 per cent per year, making it one of the fastest growing worldwide markets for industrial gases.  

Mohammed Al Shroogi (pictured), Investcorp’s president, Gulf business, says: "This investment at this time is evidence that Investcorp continues to be successful in finding high quality investment opportunities and developing distinctive partnerships with leading Gulf names. It is also an affirmation that Investcorp is the partner of choice for leading family businesses in this region, and that this region provides many future opportunities for growth for Investcorp.

"We are honoured to have formed this partnership with Al Huneidi and his world class team in Gulf Cryo, and we look forward to supporting the growth of this remarkable Gulf company."

Al Huneidi says: "My mission has been to develop Gulf Cryo into a truly pan-GCC industrial gases company by making sustained investment in its asset base and by assembling a management team committed to operational excellence, quality standards and customer service.  From amongst different alternatives, I chose to form this partnership with Investcorp, as I believe that Investcorp brings unique capabilities that will accelerate Gulf Cryo’s growth and help achieve its full potential."

The acquisition comes six months after Investcorp’s Gulf Opportunity Fund closed its second investment, a 70 per cent stake in L’Azurde, the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of gold and jewellery, and 12 months after its significant minority stake investment in Redington Gulf, a distributor and service provider of IT and telecom products in the Middle East and Africa.

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