The International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest $20 million in a private equity firm for small and mid-sized North African companies. The fund, SPE AIF I, is managed by SPE Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Swicorp investment. It will focus mainly on Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, where access to equity is especially constrained because of the macro-economic and political challenges.
IFC has invested over $40 million private equity funds in the MENA region. Its Regional Director, Beatrice Maser affirmed that IFC’s support will help improve private equity funding in the region. The investment is part of its strategy to partner with fund managers in key regions. It aims to spur private sector development, create jobs and meet the needs of fast-growing companies with this fund.
According to Nabil Triki, the CEO of SPE Capital Partners, access to private equity is difficult for many companies operating in North Africa. Private equity financing is unpopular in the region, with just 0.02%, compared to 0.11% in other emerging markets.
“With IFC’s support, we hope to not only provide growth capital but also industry and value-creation expertise, which are all currently limited in Mena with focus on North Africa,” said Nabil Triki, chief executive and managing partner of SPE Capital.
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