CVC Capital Plans Dubai Office, Mideast Hires in Hunt for Deals

CVC Capital Partners is expanding its team of advisers in the Middle East and looking to establish a presence in the region’s commercial hub, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private equity firm is planning to open an office in Dubai’s financial district in September, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.

Ozgur Onder, a London-based managing director involved in identifying investment opportunities, will spend more time in Dubai as part of the firm’s expansion plan, the people said. He will be hiring a small team of dealmakers in Dubai, they said.

CVC declined to comment.

Europe’s largest private equity company is on the lookout for new targets in the Middle East a year and a half after clinching its first deal in the region by buying a stake of about 30% in Dubai’s GEMS Education. Last year it also acquired the Greek, Croatian and the UAE businesses of marinas operator D-Marin.

CVC would be the first major international buyout firm to bolster its presence in the region since the collapse of Abraaj in 2018. Private equity companies are turning attention to the Middle East as an abundance of cheap credit and opportunities stemming from the coronavirus crisis create ripe conditions for bigger deals.

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