An initial public offering (IPO) by Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Capital is still under consideration in the long term, says CEO of the asset management firm, Karim el-Solh.

The company had been mulling an IPO last year as a means of funding the expansion of its business, but opted to raise bank debt instead.

The asset management company closed an AED850m ($231.4m) syndicated revolving credit facility with a tenor of six years in early February.

“It is much more optimal for us to borrow in the debt market than for us to issue equity at the moment,” El-Solh tells MEED. “Equity offering is definitely something we’ll think about and we may do it down the line.”

The bank facility refinanced and upsized a previous loan of $500m, while also reducing the borrowing costs, says El-Solh.

The loan will help the company fund its expansion plans as it looks for potential acquisitions across the region. Last October, it closed a $750m GC Equity Partners III, the company’s third and largest private equity fund.

El-Solh says the firm is looking for potential acquisitions in the food sector, consumer, healthcare and education, among other sectors.

“Our deal flow pipeline is increasing. We are seeing more deals because of lower valuations. It is a good time to be well-funded and looking for acquisitions,” he says.