A three-month marketing campaign began in mid-February for a $500 million company that plans to invest in projects throughout the Arab world. The Great Arab Company for Development & Investment (GACDI), which is registered offshore in Tangiers, has been set up by Saudi Arabian businessman Ibrahim Mohammad Afandi.

GACDI plans to obtain commitments for 25 per cent of the planned $500 million capital before the initial closing date in mid-May. Investors will be requested to pay up $62.5 million once the shares are allocated, to cover the company’s initial investment plans. The balance will be called in as new investment opportunities are identified. Further public subscriptions will be held at a later date to raise the capital to $500 million.

The promoters are the Riyadh-based consultants The Economic Bureau and subscriptions are being dealt with by Banque Marocaine du Commerce.

Investment targets

The company has already identified projects in various Arab countries where initial investments will be placed. The promoters say the company aims to become a diversified multinational holding company for the Arab world, investing in several sectors, including trading, contracting, industry, agriculture, financial services, communications and property development.

The promoters say profits for shareholders by the end of the first year of operations could reach $15 million, rising to $100 million by the end of the third year. GACDI has committed itself to paying a 28.5 per cent dividend to shareholders, on the $1,000 nominal value of each share, from the third year.

Afandi, who is chairman of the board of directors, is the owner of the Saudi Arabian firm Afandi Group, which is involved in trading and contracting. The group is building a resort town with commercial, tourist and residential facilities on the Red Sea coast, north of Jeddah. The town will have 2,000 property units when it is completed.

Prior to setting up his own firm, Afandi was general manager and a major shareholder in Saudi Arabia’s Al Amoudi Group.

The board has 17 members from across the region.