Gulf Capital acquires water treatment firm

Gulf Capital has acquired a 60% stake in desalination, water supply and wastewater firm Metito.

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By  Alison Luke Published  December 2, 2006

Gulf Capital has acquired a 60% stake in desalination, water supply and wastewater firm Metito. The deal is the largest private equity investment to date in the Middle East’s rapidly growing water industry. Metito has been a leading provider of water and wastewater solutions since the late 50’s. Through its operation in 15 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Metito is ranked among the top global providers of desalination plants and has over 2,000 installations worldwide. It is also the largest Arab water utility, running 16 water concessions globally. Investments of US $117 billion (AED430 billion) are expected in the Middle East by 2015 to alleviate acute water shortages. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest market for water and wastewater in the region and is expected to invest $28 billion in the sector over the next ten years. Around $6 billion of these funds will be allocated for building new desalination water plants. Many other countries in the region such as the UAE, Egypt, Iran, Iraq will be required to invest heavily in their water sector just to keep up with demand and avoid social and economical problems. In Saudi Arabia, Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) recently announced its plans for the privatisation of its water production assets worth around $800 billion. Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) began a privatisation programme in 1997 and has extended it this year to its include its sewerage treatment facilities. Metito was one of the first regional private firms to tap into this growing trend by running water concessions on a private basis as early as 1999. The firmhas accumulated 16 water concession contracts to date in the Arab World and is on track to secure a number of additional ones, further solidifying its market share.

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