KCP Capital Launches

KCP Capital, a new cross-border merchant bank, has been formed via the merger of three firms: KIT Capital, a special situations merchant bank; MNA Partners, a boutique corporate finance firm focused on the MENA region; and River Road Ventures, a U.S.-based early-stage investment firm.


KIT Capital, an entrepreneur-led special situations merchant bank, MNA Partners, a boutique corporate finance and investment firm focused on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and River Road Ventures, a US-based early stage venture capital firm, today announced their merger and the resulting formation of KCP Capital. KCP Capital represents a unique cross-border merchant bank, with principal offices in Dubai, New York and Los Angeles, focused on the increasing business opportunities and capital flows between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) zone, the Americas, and the ascendant emerging markets.

KCP Capital will have four major practice areas: (i) Digital Media, led by Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, (ii) Merchant Banking, led by Kamal El-Tayara, (iii) Real Estate, led by Daniel W. Hart, and (iv) Asset Management, led by Irfan Amanat. KCP's practice areas leverage the core operational and financial expertise of the KCP team, while optimizing for the opportunities and gaps that exist between developed and emerging markets.

KCP Capital's digital media activities are centered around Dubai-based KIT digital (OTCBB: KITD), the largest investor in which is KCP's investment vehicle, KIT Media, Ltd. KIT digital is a leading IPTV enablement and marketing solutions company focused on Global 1000 corporate clients in international markets. Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, managing partner of KCP Capital and former president of KIT Capital, serves as chairman & CEO of KIT digital.

Mr. Isaza Tuzman commented, “As a result of KIT Capital's merger into the larger KCP Capital entity, KIT digital is now backed by greater financial muscle and, as such, is better positioned than ever to continue its path of aggressive organic growth and market consolidation. KIT digital's shareholders know that I believe today's turbulent markets provide well-capitalized companies with a unique advantage. This merger strengthens our capital base and allows me to further focus my time on growing KIT digital by transitioning KIT Capital's other portfolio responsibilities to my new partners in KCP Capital.”

KCP Capital's real estate activities are centered around newly formed KCP Emergency Markets, a dedicated private equity fund vehicle focused on frontier emerging markets. The fund's investment thesis is based on the arbitrage between real and perceived risk in “dislocated” markets, where positive catalysts — e.g., regime change, the end of bellicosity or civil strife, integration into regional trading organizations — may quickly and fundamentally change a country or regional investment landscape. KCP Emergency Markets is managed by KCP managing partner Daniel W. Hart.

Mr. Hart, former managing partner of River Road Ventures, explained, “We have taken proven entrepreneurs, former Goldman Sachs and Salomon Smith Barney executives, and a track record of investment success to create a first-class, cross-border partnership. The KCP Emergency Markets fund is off to a great start, thanks to the strength of this partnership.”

KCP Capital's asset management practice, led by managing partner Irfan Amanat, is centered around KCP Structural Arbitrage, a global currency and fixed income fund which has been in existence since 2005 and has achieved a 26.8% compounded annual return after fees since inception, with extraordinarily low volatility.

The KCP merchant banking team, led by managing partner Kamal El-Tayara, anchors investment syndicates and provides financial advisory services to corporations and fund vehicles in the real estate, media, retail, transportation, telecommunications and technology industries. Since 1995, KCP principals have raised third-party equity financing in excess of US$2.0 billion in these industries and have completed over 100 transactions in the Americas, MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia — including corporate finance advisory services in the MENA region to major establishments such as Tamweel, FORSA (part of Istithmar World) and Villa Moda, as well as significant sell-side advisory mandates for telcos like Telesonique (Switzerland) and Nationlink (Central African Republic).

KCP's merchant banking practice also manages a successful escrow services practice in the GCC real estate sector.

“Our collective relationships and expertise have been strengthened by this merger,” said Messrs. El-Tayara and Amanat, former managing partners of MNA Partners. “We believe KCP Capital is the first boutique merchant bank of its kind, focused on areas of strength in the U.S. and the GCC respectively.”

KCP Capital principals have served as entrepreneurs, operating executives, fund managers, and investment bankers. The KCP team utilizes a practical, hands-on approach that maximizes value for its investors and portfolio companies. KCP predecessor entities have directly invested in and managed companies including KIT digital (OTCBB: KITD), Silicon Spice, KPE, Nextivity, JumpTV and Slipgate Ironworks, which have collectively created well over $1.5 billion in market value.