Kuwait’s Al Imtiaz Investment Group raised $120 million from the sale of a 10% stake in the education provider HumanSoft Holding this week, and the group plans to use the money to re-invest the amount in sectors like education, healthcare and real estate, chief executive, Nawaf Marefi told Reuters.
The investment firm sold the stake to institutional investors including regional sovereign wealth and other funds. With this, firm’s stake in HumanSoft has been reduced to 10%.
EFG Hermes, the Egypt-based investment bank, as well as Citigroup acted as joint bookrunners for the deal.
“The deal reflects a growing interest in attractive investment opportunities in Kuwait among regional and international financial institutions,” said Mohammed Obaid, co-CEO of investment banking at EFG Hermes.
In addition, the co-head of investment banking at EFG Hermes, Mohamed Fahmi, said “A strong appetite for investment in the education sector from global investors is a reflection of the strength of global interest in MENA opportunities that offer access to the region’s core investment drivers, including young, fast-growing populations and consumer markets.”
In January, Al Imtiaz Investment sold a 0.81% stake in HumanSoft. It sold 990,000 shares in HumanSoft, with a market value of KWD 2.7 million ($8.86 million).
HumanSoft, which is one of the largest private education providers in GCC countries, is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. It is a Kuwait-based shareholding firm engaged in establishing and managing private universities and colleges, providing computer education, language training and executive courses, among others.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding the necessity of investing in the education sector among MENA nationals. According to UNICEF, the number of Arab children that are not in school could rise up to to 13 million, and about 80% of them live in conflict-affected countries. Another 2.9 million young people don’t have access to secondary education.
In 2015, the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) was launched as one of the world’s largest family-funded philanthropic education initiatives, and an undertaking of Emirati business mogul Abdulla Al Ghurair. With it, he announced that he would be donating one-third of his personal wealth to providing scholarships for an estimated 15,000 students from across the MENA region.