Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Citadel Capital hires a General Manager for its East Africa expansion

Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa with $8.3bn in investments under control, today announced that it has hired Hassan Massoud to head the firm's East African office as it pursues growth opportunities across the Horn of Africa.

Massoud, a former Senior Analyst at A.T. Kearney's energy, mining and process industries advisory unit, will head the firm's East Africa office, the location of which has yet to be selected.

The private equity investor, whose investments span 12 countries and 14 industries, is looking to leverage East Africa's abundant resources and natural advantages to achieve compelling risk-adjusted returns and kick-start economic growth.

"Citadel Capital is uniquely positioned to apply the industry development model it honed in North African economies to markets in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. East Africa's appealing natural advantages — agricultural productivity, mineral resources and untapped consumer market — and proximity to Citadel Capital's core North African investment footprint make it a natural fit with the firm's present portfolio and for its continued regional growth."

said Citadel Capital Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal.

The firm's expansion into East Africa will extend its business model into one of the world's most fertile and unexplored investment environments. Citadel Capital has a proven track record of building national champions into regional players through industry-specific investment platforms.

"At a broad macro level we have found the main prerequisites for development to be benign government and solid regulatory frameworks, human resources and investment capital," said Massoud, Associate at Citadel Capital and General Manager Ethiopia and South Sudan. "Today, the East African countries in which we are looking to invest have the requisite legal and, more importantly, institutional infrastructure to support investments. We find the lack of investment capital and managerial capabilities remain as the main impediments to development, and these are two things we can bring into the equation."

Citadel Capital's regional investment strategy has already introduced the firm to East African markets. For example, ASCOM, the firm's platform for regional geological and mining services, has established two joint ventures in Ethiopia and has been engaged in gold and other metal exploration activities