US private equity firm Carlyle Group's Middle East head Walid Musallam is leaving the firm following disagreement over the company's strategy in the region, two sources told Reuters on Monday.
Musallam, who joined Carlyle in November 2006 as its managing director and head of the Middle East and North Africa fund, was instrumental in setting up offices and raising a $500 million fund to invest in the region.
Musallam declined to comment when called. Carlyle's spokeswoman could not be reached immediately.
One of the sources said that the differences surrounded the closure of Carlyle's office in Egypt last year due to political uncertainty in north Africa's largest economy.
Carlyle is an investor in Combined Systems Inc (CSI), the US-based firm which produced the tear gas Egyptian security forces fired on protesters, sometimes to lethal effect, last year
Prior to joining Carlyle, Musallam was CEO of Abu Dhabi Investment Company, later to become InvestAD.
Carlyle has offices in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Beirut.
Earlier this month, Carlyle bought a 48-per cent stake in Bahcesehir Koleji, a Turkish education company, marking the U.S. private equity group's third investment in Turkey and the fifth regional transaction made by its Middle East and North Africa fund, set up in 2009.
Carlyle also acquired a 42-per cent stake in Saudi Arabia's Alamar Foods, the master franchise operator for Domino's Pizza and Wendy's restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa.
This was the group's second acquisition in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's largest economy, following its 30 per cent investment in Saudi Arabia's General Lighting Company in March 2010.