Abraaj takes majority stake in Septech Emirates

Deal reported to be worth around US $12 million

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By  Eudore Chand Published  October 16, 2004

Dubai headquartered private equity firm Abraaj Capital, has acquired a controlling stake in Septech Emirates, a move that is rare for the UAE’s mergers and acquisitions business. The percentage of the “much-above 51%” stake was not revealed. However, Construction Week learned that the deal was worth some US $12 million. Sharjah-based Septech specialises in design and manufacture of water and waste treatment plants and pre-cast concrete infrastructure products. The company now plans to expand its business across the GCC, which is witnessing a construction boom. David Heffernan, who founded Septech in 1997 and who will continue to stay as the chief executive and a substantial shareholder of the company, said that the buyout by Abraaj would accelerate the company’s growth and help it to emerge as the regional market leader in the next few years. “The partnership with Abraaj is a natural step in Septech’s evolution that is in line with the company’s plans for expanding beyond the UAE, pushing for growth across the region. We have already started serving clients in Oman and Qatar and with this new relationship, we expect strategic inputs from Abraaj to support the Septech management team in making us a regional market leader in the near future,” Heffernan noted. Humayun Shahryar, executive director and head of direct investments at Abraaj Capital, said that the acquisition marks the first foray of the private equity firm into the region’s burgeoning wastewater treatment sectors. He pointed out that the rapid growth of population combined with water shortages, increasing environmental awareness and congestion in the main municipal sewage networks has put tremendous demand on wastewater treatment business in the region.

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