Affirma Capital taps JP Morgan for Jordanian firm stake sale

Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Affirma Capital, run by former Standard Chartered bankers, has hired JP Morgan to advise on the sale of the private equity firm’s minority stake in a Jordanian agricultural and food processing company, two sources told Reuters.

Bidders for the stake in Al Jazeera Agriculture Company include ADQ, formerly known as Abu Dhabi Development Holding and based in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the sources said, adding ADQ was being advised by Rothschild & Co.

The UAE, which depends on imports for 80%-90% of its food, introduced a law in March to organise strategic food stocks for emergencies, the state news agency WAM reported, amid growing food security concerns due to the coronavirus crisis.

Al Jazeera’s main products include fresh and frozen chicken for retail and wholesale, eggs, chicks and chicken feed, its website says.

The sources did not give a value for Al Jazeera but said it had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about $40 million a year.

Based on typical valuation multiples of 8 to 12 times EBITDA, the Jordanian firm could be worth in excess of $320 million. However, the coronavirus crisis has caused turmoil in financial markets, hammering corporate valuations.

The sources said the crisis had slowed the sale but bidders were still active.

The sources did not quantify the stake held by Affirma, which now has $3.6 billion of assets under management after it was carved out from Standard Chartered Private Equity.

Standard Chartered Private Equity bought what it described as a “significant minority stake” in Al Jazeera in 2014 for $35 million.

Affirma Capital did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. Rothschild and JP Morgan declined to comment. Al Jazeera and ADQ were not immediately available for comment.

ADQ controls several government companies, such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, and is led Mohamed Hassan AlSuwaidi, a former executive at Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Company.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.