KARACHI - Abraaj Capital, the premier investment firm specialising in private equity investment in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), has entered into an agreement to acquire a stake in the biggest shareholder of Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC), the city's sole power provider. Abraaj, which manages US$ 5 billion of funds across the region, will buy new shares in KES Power Limited, giving it a 50 per cent stake and management control of KES Power. KES Power in turn owns 71.5 per cent of KESC. The capital injection will be used to finance new equipment at KESC's aging facilities, boost generating capacity and bring in management expertise. Saudi Arabia's Al Jomaih Group and Kuwait's National Industries Holding " KES Power's existing owners - will remain as shareholders. "Turning KESC around will demand time and, above all, a prerequisite that all stakeholders play their part. In-depth discussions and agreements are being finalized, notably with local, provincial and federal authorities" said Farrukh Abbas, CEO of Abraaj Capital Pakistan. "These agreements will be critical to the future of the company, the safekeeping of its employees and all the people of Karachi," he further added. "Every side has a part to play. Ours includes providing very substantial funding and, critically, identifying and supporting a competent, professional management team with an established track record in the power sector. I want to stress Abraaj Capital's commitment to the future of the 17,000 employees who work at KESC, often under very difficult circumstances. This massive project is also critical to the lives of all the people of Karachi and touches the economic viability of the entire country," he added. KESC serves the electricity needs of Pakistan's largest city Karachi and its surrounding areas, with a 2.2million strong customer base. It has a licensed network spanning 6,000 square kilometres. Through a combination of self generation and power import from IPP's and the national utility WAPDA/NTDC, KESC's total supply capacity is approximately 2,344 MW. KESC is listed on all three of Pakistan's stock exchanges.