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IFC Invests in a Private Equity Fund to Support North African Companies


In Washington :
Abdellatif Kabbaj
Phone:        +1 202 473 82 48
Email:         akabbaj@ifc.org

In Rabat :
Joumana Cobein
Phone:        +212 37 65 24 79
Email:         jcobein@ifc.org


Rabat, 27 June 2006 – The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to invest in the Maghreb Private Equity Fund II LP. This regional private equity fund will target companies in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and, in a second stage, Libya.  IFC has committed to invest up to 15 million Euros in the fund’s initial capital of 55 million Euros.

Through this investment, IFC aims to develop regional champions in high-growth sectors. The fund will serve a diversified portfolio of commercial and industrial companies, mainly in agribusiness, consumer products, telecommunications, financial services, transport, and distribution.  Through equity and quasi-equity investments, the fund will support the development of private sector enterprises, as well as the privatization of regional state-owned enterprises.  These investments will function as a catalyst for the mobilization of further financing for these enterprises.

Other investors in the fund are the European Investment Bank, the Netherlands Development Finance Company, CDC Enterprises, the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, the private sector lending arm of the French development agency, Averroès Finance, and Tuninvest Finance Group.  The fund will be managed by the Tuninvest Finance Group, a financial services company owned by its employees.

Abdelkader Allaoua, IFC’s Regional Associate Director for Middle East North Africa, said, “IFC’s investment in the Maghreb Private Equity Fund II will enhance the competitiveness of leading companies in the region.  The fund will provide equity and other value added services to small and medium enterprises, transferring strategic and operational skills to local entrepreneurs.”

Tuninvest Finance Group is the leading private investment institution in Tunisia and manages more than 150 million Euros in investments. Tuninvest Finance Group adds value to its portfolio enterprises by being on their boards and assisting them with their strategic, operational, and financial management.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.