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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) and three investment firms have closed and relaunched The Great Circle Fund LP, a US$180mn private equity fund created to invest in maritime transportation, infrastructure and logistics in emerging markets, primarily in Russia, Ukraine, the other countries in the former Soviet Union, southeastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and other parts of the Mediterranean.

Opic will provide a significant portion of its funding.

Under the terms of an agreement between Opic, Great Circle Capital, Alfa Capital Partners, and Probel Capital Management, Alfa Capital Partners has entered into The Great Circle Fund LP as a limited partner and regional manager, and Probel Capital Management has joined the fund as a limited partner and sub-advisor to the investment manager of the fund.

Opic acting president and CEO Ross Connelly says: “The Great Circle Fund  illustrates Opic’s continuing commitment to support infrastructure development in the target region, and to partnering with quality organizations such Alfa Capital Partners, Probel Capital Management and Great Circle Management.”

Alfa Group chairman Mikhail Fridman adds: “Alfa Group participation in The Great Circle Fund is another sign of our long-term commitment to attracting foreign direct investment to Russia, Ukraine and the CIS and to investing in growth market sectors. It also evidences the success of our organisation in achieving international standard fund management practices.”
Richard Sobel, CEO of Alfa Capital Partners, says: “For Alfa Capital Partners this new partnership represents a major step in developing our family of funds specialising in private equity and real estate in Russia, Ukraine and the Former Soviet Union.”

Alfa Capital Partners is a private equity and real estate investment firm established by Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest privately owned financial services group, and its parent Alfa Group, one of Russia largest financial and industrial groups. Alfa Capital Partners invests in small and medium-sized companies and real estate in Russia, Ukraine and the Former Soviet Union. Alfa Capital Partners strategy is to partner with leading companies and management teams, playing an active role strategically and financially in helping to develop their businesses. 

The Great Circle Fund LP is a US-based private equity fund dedicated to equity investing in the maritime industry with particular emphasis in the following areas: ports and terminals, niche shipping, energy support, maritime services. Great Circle typically seeks to invest US$10mn-25mn per transaction.

Probel Capital Management NV, founded in 1991, is a Belgian general private equity and real estate investment firm established to provide long-term capital and value-added development partnerships to high-quality partners and projects.

Probel Capital Management invests in medium-sized, later-stage private equity opportunities across a range of industries both in Europe and the US, as well as in early-stage commercial real estate investments in western and eastern Europe and later-stage buy-out opportunities in eastern Europe and the CIS countries.