Gulf fund's US$100 million New Zealand investment

Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain completes two private equity investments

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By  David Robinson Published  November 8, 2004

Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain has announced the completion of two private equity investments through its US$100 million New Zealand Australia Private Equity Fund launched in October last year. The new investments bring the total number of companies purchased through the fund so far to four. The first of the two new investments was in New Zealand-based Woosh Wireless, a wireless and broadband service provider. Having already established a market position in Auckland, the company has begun an aggressive expansion drive having recently moved into the Wellington and Christchurch markets with plans in store for further growth across the country. The second investment was in New Zealand-based NextWindow, a designer and developer of optical imaging technologies in the fields of gesture and touch recognition for the commercial retailer market. NextWindow has developed an entirely new touch and gesture screen technology — compatible with nearly all of today’s displays be it plasma, LCD or even projectors — that not only recognises where consumers place their finger on a screen, but also watches and interprets their hand movements. The Company has already concluded a ‘Preferred Supplier Agreement’ with Fujitsu Services to deliver Touchscreen Technology to the UK market and provides the technology for Vodafone and its Vodafone live!, the largest global services launch undertaken by the telecoms giant. Additional funding will further strengthen NextWindow global marketing efforts and moves toward broad based commercial production. Commenting on the announcement, Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat, general manager of Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain says: “We are delighted to complete these investments through our New Zealand Australia Private Equity Fund. We are committed to identifying compelling opportunities on behalf of our investors on a global basis and this philosophy is no better demonstrated than through our investments in Woosh Wireless and NextWindow — two companies with a solid business model and significant scope for growth. These two companies are anticipated to enhance the future value of the fund.” Other investments undertaken through the fund include an investment in New Zealand healthcare provider Radius Health Group, which was completed in February, and Canterbury of New Zealand, a rugby apparel maker in November last year.

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