Tunisian software developer Vermeg expands with EBRD support

By Nibal Zgheib

The EBRD is supporting the development and expansion of Vermeg Solutions, a Tunisian software developer, with a €5 million loan. The EBRD finance will be used to fund Vermeg Solutions’ growth. This in turn will facilitate the expansion of the mother company Vermeg Group, notably through synergies with the Belgium company BSB Group of which Vermeg currently owns 29.9 per cent.

Vermeg Solutions, a software company specialised in fund administration and securities processing, is a subsidiary of Vermeg Group and was founded in 2002 by Badreddine Ouali who remains the main owner and serves as its chairman. BSB, listed on the NYSE Alternext stock exchange, is a software developer focused on life insurance, pension and healthcare, asset management and wealth management sectors.

Joining forces and turning around BSB’s operations represents a great opportunity for Vermeg to develop its product range and expand its business. Vermeg and BSB offer complementary products and solutions in the same industry and the group is expected to benefit from significant synergies.

The main clients of Vermeg and BSB are top private and public financial institutions and include global custodians, brokers, investment banks, fund managers, clearing houses and central banks. The group has successfully evolved its range of products and services by using state of the art technology and by recruiting and retaining high quality, knowledgeable and well-trained staff.

Izzet Guney, EBRD Director for Information and Communication Technologies said: “We are proud having the opportunity to support a dynamic young company like Vermeg in its future development. The EBRD pays particular attention to economic diversification and strengthening the knowledge economy. With its impressive track record and its successful product range, we hope that Vermeg will be seen by many local companies as an example and a trendsetter.”

Marie-Alexandra Veilleux, Head of the EBRD office in Tunisa, added: This is a very important moment for the EBRD as today’s signing is our first loan agreement with a small and medium-sized Tunisian company. Supporting the real economy and facilitating local entrepreneurs’ access to credit is a key task for us in order to foster sustainable growth in the country.”

On behalf of Vermeg Group Badreddine Ouali remarked: “Vermeg witnessed sustainable internal growth since its creation. Today, with more challenging market and with fast changing in financial industry, it is crucial to reach a critical size that can be achieved through external growth. We identified synergies with BSB in many levels including products, client base and geographic locations. We are pleased to be the first small and medium sized Tunisian company to be trusted by the EBRD. This loan will allow us implement our mid-term growth strategy”.

The loan is being provided under the Local Enterprise Facility, a €400 million facility for investments in enterprises in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, FYR Macedonia, Jordan, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey. It provides a wide range of flexible financial products, including equity, quasi-equity and debt financing to address companies’ needs.