The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a commitment of US$15mn with the SPE Africa Industrialization I Fund (AIF I), a generalist private equity fund targeting primarily growth capital investments in SMEs and mid-market companies mainly in North Africa, with a focus on Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. The fund’s first closing reached US$80mn.
The fund manager, SPE Capital Partners, will adopt a hands-on value-adding investment strategy and will seek to acquire equity stakes in enterprises with robust growth potential in important sectors such as education, healthcare, manufacturing and services to meet their investment needs.
The fund seeks to contribute to the development of the private sector in North Africa by increasing access to capital for local SMEs and mid-market companies. Additionally, the fund’s portfolio companies are anticipated to grow regionally and contribute to strengthening trade between northern and sub-Saharan African countries, while creating over 1,000 direct new jobs.
The EIB commitment was signed under the Southern Neighbourhood Private Equity Risk Capital Facility, a EUR 71.3mn facility which aims to support private equity fund investments in the Southern Neighbourhood countries. The facility blends the EIB’s own resources with European Commission resources under the Neighbourhood Investment Facility.
The Risk Capital Facility for the Southern Neighbourhood (RCF-SN) provides access to equity and debt financing to SMEs in the Mediterranean region in order to support private sector development, inclusive growth and private sector job creation. Set up by the European Commission and the EIB, the RCF-SN builds on the success of the ENPI-FEMIP Risk Capital Mandate 2007-2013, which was fully deployed despite the unprecedented geopolitical turmoil in the target region.
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