Dubai: Abraaj Capital, the Dubai-based private equity firm, yesterday announced the acquisition of UAE-based GMMOS Group, a major regional oil and gas services and industrial group operating in the Gulf and Caspian markets.

GMMOS Group comprises four well-established business divisions, including Grandweld, the leading shipyard in the Gulf focusing on the offshore supply vessel (OSV) segment; GMMOS Fabrication, a specialised steel fabricator of pressure vessels and skid modules for the oil and gas industry; Stanford Marine, a prominent OSV charter operator in the Gulf; and Gallagher, one of the largest mobile fleet operators in the UAE.

Abraaj's acquisition of GMMOS Group was made through its $500 million Abraaj Buyout Fund II.

"This is Abraaj's first direct entry into the attractive and rapidly growing oil and gas services segment.

GMMOS Group is a classic private equity target: a successful company and great prospective platform that will be able to make a transformational leap forward with access to the management and financial expertise, and funding, that we bring to the table," said Mustafa Abdul Wadood, managing director of Abraaj Capital.

Capitalising on high oil prices, GMMOS has witnessed very strong growth over the past few years across all its divisions. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

"There is currently an unprecedented scale of investment in offshore exploration and production activity, nowhere more so than in the Gulf and Caspian regions. GMMOS Group, through its core business divisions, is a key supplier to the regional oil and gas industry," said Omar Lodhi, executive director at Abraaj Capital.

As part of its infrastructure foray, earlier this month Abraaj acquired Egyptian Fertilisers Company (EFC), Egypt's largest private-sector fertiliser manufacturer for $1.4 billion.

Currently the company is in negotiation with a Turkish hospital operator, Acibadem Health Services, the largest health services company in Turkey for a possible buyout.

Apart from managing its' seven private equity funds, Abraaj Capital Holdings Limited is also the single largest shareholder in the Cairo based regional investment bank EFG-Hermes.