September 18, 2019 / 2:51 PM / 2 months ago

CORRECTED-OFFICIAL-Tell Group looks to Lebanon's infrastructure ambitions with new $100 mln fund

(In second paragraph, deletes reference to first close figure)

DUBAI, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Tell Group, a private equity firm, has reached first close on its first Lebanon infrastructure fund for which it hopes to raise $100 million, the company said on Wednesday.

The Tell Lebanon Infrastructure Fund is the first fund targeting Lebanese infrastructure opportunities specifically. The group said it aims to raise a series of infrastructure funds focussed on Lebanon targeting $1 billion in total.

The fund declined to disclose how much was invested at the first close.

Foreign governments and donor institutions last year pledged $11 billion in financing for Lebanon for a 12-year infrastructure investment program at a conference in Paris, on condition that the government carries out reforms.

Faced with sluggish growth and crumbling infrastructure, Beirut also unveiled plans for a capital investment programme worth around $20 billion containing more than 280 projects.

“This is a first of its kind private equity infrastructure fund dedicated to Lebanon,” said Sethu Palaniappan, CEO of Tell AG, the asset management arm of Tell Group and fund manager.

It has identified 5-6 potential investments in sectors including waste management, energy and telecommunications. The first project is in the due diligence stage, it said. It will also look in the future at transport, water, electricity, solid waste and tourism.

More than 25 family offices, individuals and institutions from Lebanon, Europe, and the Gulf Cooperation Council have committed to the fund, Tell said.

Tell Group is a private equity and corporate advisory firm founded in 2015 with a presence in Europe and MENA. ( Reporting by Lisa Barrington and Tuqa Khalid; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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