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Bahraini investment firms buy U.S. company PRO Unlimited-Reuters

(Reuters) – Bahrain-based alternative investment fund Investcorp INVB.BH and sovereign fund Mumtalakat [BHMUT.UL] have acquired U.S. software and services firm PRO Unlimited for around $300 million.

PRO, based in Florida, operates in 52 countries and provides services to companies that use independent contractors, consultants and freelancers, a statement from Investcorp said.

Investcorp did not reveal the deal value. But an Investcorp spokesman confirmed that its president of Gulf business, Mohammed al-Shroogi, said at a press conference in Bahrain that the price was around $300 million.

Mahmood al-Kooheji, chief executive of Mumtalakat, told Reuters that both entities had invested equally in the business and they hoped to tap into the growth PRO was expecting from changing labor patterns.

“Talented people don’t stay in one company for long,” Kooheji said in a telephone interview. “People moving from place to place has its challenges and that’s what PRO Unlimited helps with. It’s a major player in this growing field.”

Andrew Schultz, co-founder and chief executive of PRO Unlimited, was quoted in Investcorp’s statement as saying the investment would allow it to expand its business.

Kooheji said this growth would be in countries where PRO is already present, because many other countries have labor laws which limit the fields in which the firm operates.

Investcorp’s Shroogi had told Reuters in an interview last week that the fund was hoping to complete three transactions, with one each in the United States, Europe and Turkey.

Mumtalakat, fully owned by the Bahraini state, held a portfolio of assets worth approximately $7.2 billion as of the end of 2013.

It recently joined with Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Fajr Capital to take a stake in United Arab Emirates-based GEMS Education.