Cairo, October 12, 2011—IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, is investing €15 million in a private
equity fund that will invest in small and medium enterprises in Algeria,
Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, helping expand access to finance and spur
The €96 million Maghreb Private Equity
Fund III is being launched by Tuninvest, a leading fund manager in the
Middle East and North Africa. The fund will invest in lines of business
such as packaging, pharmaceuticals, financial services, agribusiness, and
“Small and medium businesses are essential
to create jobs, yet only 20 percent in the region have formal access to
finance,” said Joumana Cobein, IFC Principal Country Officer in Morocco.
“The fund will support such small companies, helping them expand and grow.
It will also boost investor confidence in the Middle East and North Africa
by demonstrating the strong investment potential of the region.”
IFC will work closely with the fund
managers to ensure that they adopt corporate governance best practices,
as well as environmental and social standards. The fund’s strategy will
incorporate an innovative climate change component, with approximately
10 to 15 percent of the invested capital to be deployed in energy efficiency
and renewable energy projects, a first for a fund targeting small businesses
in North Africa.
This investment builds on IFC’s relationship
with Tuninvest. Five years ago, IFC invested €15 million in the fund’s
predecessor, Maghreb Private Equity Fund II. IFC’s participation in the
launch of the new fund will help Tuninvest attract commercial investors
in subsequent closings, as was the case with IFC’s investment in the previous
Amid political, civil, and economic
uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa, IFC has invested $1.35
billion in the region so far this year, and committed to eight advisory
programs worth over $6 million. In addition, IFC and the World Bank this
summer launched a $500 million facility that will make it easier for micro,
small, and medium enterprises to access financing.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.