June 23rd, 2012
NBK Capital announced today that it has completed a mezzanine investment in Eikon International Holding FZ LLC, the operator of Heriot Watt University in Dubai. The investment was made through the firm’s pioneering NBK Capital Mezzanine Fund, the MENA region’s first dedicated mezzanine fund providing alternative credit solutions to growth companies.
Established in 2005, Eikon is a Dubai based university operator partnered with Heriot Watt University, a top ranked Scottish university, to offer high quality UK education at their Dubai branch campus. Eikon and Heriot Watt have delivered on implementing an exceptional university offering in Dubai with over 33 different academic programs. Within a relatively short seven year history, Heriot Watt has emerged as one of the UAE’s leading foreign universities, growing its enrolment from 120 students to over 2,600 students drawn from over 70 different countries. The mezzanine facility will support Eikon’s expansion plans and help solidify its leading position in the regional higher education market.
Dr. M. Sarangapani Reddy, Chairman of Eikon elaborated on this point, “the university has achieved considerable success since its inception due to both partners, Eikon and Heriot Watt focusing on their core strength. We are very pleased to have partnered with a reputable institutional investor like NBK Capital, who can actively help us build on these strengths and develop our business further.”
Amjad Ahmad, Senior Managing Director at NBK Capital added, “Eikon has delivered a strong offering in the higher education segment with an excellent partnership with a leading UK academic institution. Our investment will provide the necessary growth capital for Eikon to further strengthen its position in a competitive market.”
Samer Khalidi, Executive Director at NBK Capital, went on to explain, “our involvement with Eikon exemplifies our strategy of supporting proven entrepreneurs and managers in expanding their businesses by providing funding tailored to their specific needs and requirements.”
NBK Capital Mezzanine Fund I, managed by NBK Capital as part of its Alternative Investments Group, is a USD 157.4 million fund providing mezzanine financing to companies in the MENA region. Mezzanine is a hybrid of debt and equity financing and is primarily used to finance growth and expansion of companies. Mezzanine financing is relevant for a variety of transactions including leveraged buyouts, refinancing, recapitalization, growth and acquisition financing.