Qalaa Holdings and the Egyptian Refining Company
This case follows Qalaa Holdings, a successful Egypt-based private equity firm, and gives insight into the types of investments it pursued, its growth over time, and the limited partner base it had at hand. It also allows students to consider and debate whether the traditional private equity fund structure can be applied in Africa. In particular, the case focuses on one of Qalaa's largest and most difficult greenfield infrastructure projects: Egyptian Refining Company. It tracks the project from its structuring stage in 2007, through the adverse periods of the global financial crisis and Arab Spring, until 2012. At this time, Hisham El-Khazindar, co-founder and managing director, had to decide on the fate of the project. While passionate about contributing to Africa's development, he could not ignore the challenges: the sheer size and complexity of the project, the high financial stakes, and the region's on-going unstable political environment.