Tunis, Tunisia, June 4, 2013 –
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has committed to invest in a private
equity fund to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in North Africa
gain access to the finance they need to grow and create jobs.
The €10 million equity investment in
Capital North Africa Venture Fund II (CNAV Fund II) will help the fund
invest in SMEs across North Africa, particularly medium sized companies
that can demonstrate growth potential. CNAV Fund II will not only provide
financing, but also advise entrepreneurs and SMEs on best practice. The
fund will encourage transparency and good corporate governance, to improve
SME competitiveness and sustainability. €75 million has already been committed
to the fund, which will have a maximum total of €100 million, and be managed
by Capital Invest International.
“Supporting small and medium businesses
will positively contribute to the economic growth and stability of the
region, as SMEs have strong growth potential that, when realized, will
attract more investors,” said Omar Chikhaoui from Capital Invest.
The majority of private equity in emerging
markets is growth equity, which depends on the sustained growth of companies
to generate profit. Private equity funds can help companies stay focused
and negotiate the risks of rapid growth. Globally, the average annual rate
of job creation at companies backed by IFC-supported funds since 2000 is
22 percent, compared to regional rates of 2 to 3 percent. But, according
to several studies, SMEs in MENA suffer a funding shortfall estimated at
$150 billion and the unemployment rate is the highest in the world.
“Investment funds, with their unique
provision of both equity capital and expertise, have a significant impact
on company growth and job creation,” said Joumana Cobein, IFC Principal
Country Officer in Morocco. “Unemployment is a huge challenge for North
Africa, and supporting funds can help address this challenge.”
The investment is part of IFC’s strategy
in North Africa of facilitating access to finance for SMEs, boosting investor
confidence, improving the financial infrastructure, and creating jobs.
IFC’s existing committed portfolio in North Africa is $1.6 billion.
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, mobilizing capital in international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than US$20 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation,
and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Capital Invest
Capital Invest International S.à.r.l
is the fund manager which is sponsored by two principal executives of Capital
Invest namely Mr. Mehdi Tahiri and Mr. Omar Chikhoui. Capital Invest was
formed in 1999 with the objective of creating a first-rate professional
private equity fund manager in Morocco. Its shareholders include Argan
Partners (management team), Siparax, a French private equity group and
CIC Finance, a French banking group.