Gulf Capital deal reveals Asia-MENA links

Handshake 3Abu Dhabi-based alternative investment firm Gulf Capital has acquired Bico, an Asian firm that operates a hotel-booking network in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, in a further sign of closer economic ties between Asia and the Middle East.

The acquisition was performed by Destinations of the World, a Gulf Capital portfolio company established in Dubai in 1993 that secures access to hotel room inventory and sells hotel bookings to travel agents, airlines and tour companies.

Gulf Capital invests in private equity, credit, mezzanine and real estate and currently manages more than $4 billion of assets in seven funds and investment vehicles.

Karim El Solh, Gulf Capital chief executive, says the Bico deal is the “third portfolio bolt-on acquisition in Asia Pacific, demonstrating Gulf Capital’s ability to build global companies out of the Gulf region”.

Among Gulf Capital’s other projects is the development of shopping mall and related services on Al Maryah Island, where the new Abu Dhabi financial free zone, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, is based.

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