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IFC Private Equity Fund Investment Supports Small and Medium Businesses in Central Asia


IFC Contacts:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 (202) 758 4290
E-mail:
LPang@ifc.org

Silan Genc
Phone: +90 212 385 3029
E-mail: SGenc@ifc.org



Aureos Group Contacts:
Brigit van Dijk - Van de Reijt
E-mail: brigit@aureos.com

Washington D.C., March 4, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it has invested in the Aureos Central Asia Fund, a private equity fund that will finance small and medium enterprises in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

The investment of up to $10 million will enable the fund to support entrepreneurs in the region and assist them in applying better corporate governance and environmental management practices to their businesses. Established by Aureos Capital, the fund will help companies in such countries as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, where access to capital and advisory services remain limited.

Sev Vettivetpillai, CEO of Aureos Capital, said, “Central Asia’s economy is growing rapidly, and SMEs are seeing more opportunities for regional expansion. Aureos Capital has the experience and expertise to provide financing to help them grow, and we welcome IFC’s support of our efforts.”

Haydee Celaya, IFC Director for Funds, said, ”This investment in the Aureos Central Asia Fund allows IFC to use the reach and capabilities of a private sector fund manager to provide financing to SMEs in the underserved Central Asia region. We are pleased to build on our existing relationship with Aureos through this new investment.”  

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said, “SMEs in sectors such as agribusiness, manufacturing, and services are vital for sustainable development and job creation in Central Asia, but they have limited access to the capital markets. With this investment, IFC will improve access to finance and contribute to the sustainable and equitable development of the region.”

The Aureos Central Asia Fund has raised $50 million and seeks to raise an additional $50 million. CDC Group, a U.K. government-owned fund of funds, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), and Kazyna, a Kazakh state-sponsored development finance institution, have also invested in the fund.

The fund is considering investments in SMEs in such sectors as consumer goods, food processing, oil and gas–related services, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, construction materials, financial services, and logistics.  



About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Aureos Capital
Aureos Capital Ltd is a unique private equity fund management company domiciled in Mauritius that specializes in providing expansion and buy-out capital to unlisted mid-cap businesses across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. To date, the company has sponsored and established 14 new regional SME funds for emerging markets, with total capital commitments of over $700 million.  For more information, visit www.aureos.com.