Firm Raises $95M For Libya Private Equity Fund

Feb 13 2007 | 3:23pm ET

A Libyan firm has won commitments totally some US$95 million for its Libya-focused private equity fund, which it calls the country’s first.

Tripoli-based Pheonicia Group Libya—which describes itself as “the leading U.S.-Libyan diversified business and consultancy group”—reported that its Libu Capital’s Libya Fund has reached its first close target by surpassing initial expectations. The firm has also tripled the planned size of the fund, to US$300 million.

Ryad Sunusi, president and CEO of the Phoenicia Group, highlighted his firm’s experience on the ground in Libya, and the support of the country’s government, warning investors to be wary of funds that lack either.

“There will always be parties who pop out once in a while with one aim in mind: fleecing investors and delivering little on promises, outfits like Lion’s Pride, Tuareg Capital, Mari Ventures and others,” he said in a statement. “These guys, almost without exception, have a very limited understanding of the Libyan legal and business environment and no strategic game plan or long-term planning and relationships for managing a successful investment portfolio, and what’s more, are not even based in Libya but overseas.”

He added, “We strongly advise investors to be diligent and stay away from such set-ups, which have no backing from the Libyan government and operate in a shady grey area.”

Phoenicia has committed $20 million to the Libya Fund, with the remainder coming from the Libya Arab African Investment Group and an unidentified European investment bank. Phoenicia said it expects future limited partners to include institutional investors in Libya, the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

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