One big co-investment initiative between families

Here’s a big co-investment deal just been struck by a group of global investors to target companies in India and the Gulf Cooperation Cooperation countries. Under the umbrella of Foundation Holdings, family offices and other investors are looking to raise half a billion dollars in the next five years to invest in healthcare, consumer and education companies.

The biggest backer, according to reports in the Indian media, is a private equity specialist called Abhishek Sharma, who will also be CEO of Foundation Holdings. Sharma is personally backed by a successful family business, say the reports - the family own the rights to the US brand Spring Air mattress for the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. Sharma also has an impressive investment banking/private equity background, being behind a number of big regional initial public offerings, including Amanat Holdings, a big health and education group that listed in 2014.

Also backing the initiative, according to reports, are a number of family offices/family holding groups, including a member of the family behind a holding and investment group based in Oman called W J Towell. Kasamar Holdings, an Abu Dhabi-based family office controlled by the Alom family, is also an equity partner. The Aloms, originally from Syria, made their money with a health group they set up called Al Noor Hospitals, which listed on the London Stock Exchange two years ago.

Karim Merchant, a second-generation member of the family that control the Middle East and Indian subcontinent retail group, Pure Gold Jewellers, is also an equity partner. Fares Bugshan, the CEO of a family office called Bugshan Investment, owns a stake in the group. Fares is a member of the Bugshan family, who operate a Riyadh-based conglomerate called Saudi Bugshan.

Other backers, according to reports, include Adel Abdullah Ali, founder and CEO of Air Arabia and Rothschild Capital Partners, the investment vehicle of the UK-based Jacob Rothschild and his family.