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IFC Equity financing Supports Small Medium Enterprises in North Africa


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: 202 – 24619140 ext.306
E-mail:
rmustafa@ifc.org


Cairo, 6 March, 2008 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to invest in AlterMed, a private equity fund. The investment of up to €11 million will support the growth of small and medium enterprises in North Africa. The European Investment Bank and Caisse d’Epargne are partners in AlterMed.  

IFC’s equity financing, as part of the AlterMed’s initial capital of €75 million, aims to develop regional champions in high-growth sectors. The fund will support small and medium enterprises through a diversified portfolio of industrial and commercial companies, including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, construction materials, consumer goods, food processing, plastics, mechanical industries, automotive parts, and logistics.

AlterMed, which is managed by Viveris Management, is the first fund to adopt a compartment-type fund in the Mediterranean region. The fund comprises three compartments, each dedicated to specific regions: AlterMed Maghreb, which is dedicated to making minority investments primarily in Moroccan small and medium enterprises; AlterMed Alternative Private Equity Fund, which will focus on Tunisian small and medium enterprises; and AlterMed Turkey, which will be set up shortly and will focus on Turkey. The first two compartments will also target small and medium enterprises based in Algeria, in a limited way.  

Eric Schettini, Chairman of Viveris Management, said, “AlterMed is a fund with three geographical compartments. This management structure is innovative, as management units will be set up in Rabat, Tunis, and soon Istanbul, while the overall management of the fund will still remain Viveris Management. This will allow the fund to respond to the specific needs of each country.”

Haydee Celaya, IFC Director for Private Equity and Investment Funds, said, “Credit and capital markets in the Middle East and North Africa need private equity as an important source of external financing for fast-growing companies. Our investment will enhance the competitiveness of local small and medium enterprises by making equity and other value-added services more available, while supporting the transfer of strategic and operational skills to local entrepreneurs.”

A key component of IFC’s strategy is to support emerging fund managers, especially those focusing on small and medium enterprises. IFC’s commitment will help Viveris Management by boosting trust in the private equity market.

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 poor people 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.