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Standard Chartered Private Equity invests $75m in Topaz

August 20, 2014

Babu Das Augustine Banking Editor

Dubai: Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank on Wednesday acquired a minority stake worth $75 million (Dh275 million) in Topaz Energy and Marine (Topaz) an offshore support vessel operator.

Topaz is headquartered in the UAE and operates a fleet of 99 offshore support vessels throughout the Middle East and the Caspian with a growing presence in West Africa.

Topaz's parent company is Renaissance Services SAOG is an Omani company listed on the Muscat Securities Market.

The proceeds from the investment will be used to fund Topaz's expansion plan, which includes the acquisition of vessels for existing business and geographical expansion.

SCPE will be granted a board seat and will provide strategic insight towards delivering on Topaz's global business and capital market ambitions.

"Topaz's high quality management team, committed shareholder base and independent governance are admired by many in the region. We look forward to working with our partners at Topaz and helping the company achieve its long-term strategic objectives," said Taimoor Labib, Regional Head of Mena Private Equity & Head of Global Private Equity Portfolio Management at SCPE. " Labib will be joining the Topaz Board on behalf of SCPE

This is the first investment in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) energy sector for SCPE, the first private equity transaction in the UAE and the fourth investment overall in the region.

"The diversification of our sources of capital puts Topaz firmly on the path to eventual independence as a world-class OSV business, as envisaged by Renaissance Services' Group strategy," said Samir Fancy, Chairman of Topaz.

Organic expansion

Topaz management said the company is keen on further geographical diversification and growth through both organic expansion and acquisitions and the recent infusion of funds will accelerate this.

"SCPE is investing because of its firm belief in the Topaz story, the team and our strategy, and we look forward to working together in close partnership," said RenÃ

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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