EBRD and EIB to invest US$24m in Amethis Mena Fund II for SMEs in MENA zone

MENA – Amethis, the investment fund manager dedicated to the African continent, is preparing the first fundraising operation for its new investment vehicle, Amethis Mena Fund II. This first closing is announced for the first quarter of 2021.

The Luxembourg registered Amethis Investment Fund Manager is an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) and dedicated to projects and investments in Africa. It has €725 million (US$878.51 million) of assets under management.

Two international financial institutions have already indicated their intention to invest in this vehicle, which targets medium-sized companies and fast-growing SMEs in the MENA zone (Middle East and North Africa).

These are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The Board of Directors at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved an equity investment of €20 million (US$24.2 million).

The EBRD investment, scheduled for February, should enable the fund to reach its first closing target of €150 million (US$181.76 million) is set to enable it to achieve a first closing.

The EBRD’s proposed investment is expected to contribute to its concept of resilient transition, by increasing the availability of private equity capital. Additionally, the project is expected to support the bank’s concept of competitive transition, by increasing the competitiveness of investee companies.

The EIB has decided to approve a stake of the same amount as EBRD in the fund.

The Fund will seek to achieve long-term capital growth by undertaking equity and equity-linked investments, predominantly in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan.

Amethis, founded by Luc Rigouzzo and Laurent Demey, has under its management several investment vehicles focused on North Africa and other regions of the continent.

The London-based EBRD was set up in 1991 as a multilateral developmental investment bank. While its early projects were focused on European countries in the former Eastern Bloc, both its investments and members have become increasingly international. The bank is now jointly owned by 69 banks, the latest being India.

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