Jun 27, 2006 – First Jordan
Catalyst Investment Management Company recently announced the launch of a new $80 million investment company at the World Economic Forum. The unique focus and structure was well received by companies seeking funding, investors, and business partners at the Funds World Conference in Dubai on June 6, 2006.
The first of its kind in the region, the Energy and Water Technology Investment Company is set to promote the development of the regional products, services and technologies industry in the Arab world, by focusing on the region’s strengths. Ennis Rimawi, managing partner of Catalyst commented, “Everyone talks about building sustainable knowledge-based industries and economies; we are focused on doing it in the areas where the region has a competitive advantage globally. By its nature, the Energy and Water sector vendor-base provides short-horizon investments with exceptional returns as well as providing job-creation and technology transfer for the region’s most strategic sectors. The lack of the right type of institutional investor and hands-on support for young growing companies has stifled the development of an internationally-viable industrial supplier-base in the region.”
Catalyst will provide equity investment to companies in the region including joint ventures and spin-offs from industrials. It will tap into invention, manufacturing, engineering, support and other strengths in the Arab region, recognized as one of the leading markets in the world for the Energy and Water sectors. The committed founding investors are a set of diverse and strategic groups from the GCC, Levant, and North Africa.
Catalyst also has special partnerships with and support from leading industrialists in the oil/gas and water sectors. Catalyst has also taken a fresh new approach to investment in the region, focusing on primary stage “profitable companies”, and supporting their growth through the Catalyst network and the specialized Management Team with regional and international technology, manufacturing, oil/gas sector, water sector, and investment backgrounds. Primarily, Catalyst will develop success stories for an industrial technology and product industry in the Arab World that can compete globally, based on the region’s strengths in the Energy and Water sectors. Many investments will involve transfer of industry know-how, best-practice frameworks, intellectual property development, increasing business transparency and regional expansion support. Catalyst is already playing a strategic advisory role for one of the region’s top oil companies. Furthermore, Catalyst is proud to claim partnership with the region’s top desalination, water and wastewater treatment company, Metito. Metito’s Executive Director, Rami Ghandour, notes, “Metito is a strong believer in the opportunity to build and grow a globally competitive technology base for the water sector in the Arab world, and we are supporting Catalyst to help make this happen.”
Rimawi and other partners such as Robin McGowan, the oil/gas partner on the team, come from a company building and operational leadership background in technology, manufacturing, oil/gas, water, and investment structuring and management. Rimawi is best known for being the founder and CEO of two of the region’s software success stories that involved Microsoft and Cisco as investors, as well as his role in promoting regional industrial technology development as a founder of the MIT Arab Alumni Association. McGowan comes from 15 years at Schlumberger including many years in the Arab Gulf countries, as well as technology, marketing, and M&A roles in Schlumberger corporate. McGowan notes, “The market growth and our specialized approach have allowed us to source out more opportunities than expected, and will subsequently allow us to create significant value for our portfolio, partners, and investors.” Catalyst expects to finalize two to four investments in the next four months based on its current short-list of partnership opportunities. Catalyst is currently privately held, but planning a public listing in the future.