International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment management arm of the World Bank, will invest $20 million in a private equity fund focused on North Africa.
The SPE AIF 1 fund is managed by SPE Capital Partners, a private equity boutique firm that was formed in 2016 from a spinout from Mena-based investment bank, Swicorp.
The fund will target small and mid-cap companies operating in North Africa, mainly Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.
According to SPE, access to institutional capital is constrained for many of these companies due to macro-economic and political challenges. Yet private equity financing remains underused in the region – the penetration rate is just 0.02% in North Africa 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.
The IFC has so far invested more than $40 million in Mena-focused private equity funds in 2020. “IFC’s support will help signal the continued viability of private equity in the region,” said Beatrice Maser, IFC’s regional director for Mena.
“Greater access to such financing can help spur private sector development and job creation, which are both still much needed in the region.”
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