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EBRD commits additional US$ 10 million to AIF fund for SEMED region

By Nibal Zgheib

  • EBRD commits additional US$ 10 million to SPE AIF I LP equity fund
  • Support for small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-cap firms in SEMED region
  • Alternative equity funding crucial during coronavirus pandemic

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the availability of alternative equity funding to small businesses in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region by committing an additional US$ 10 million in favour of the SPE AIF I LP (AIF) equity fund.

AIF is a regional equity fund investing in equity and quasi-equity in small and lower mid-cap companies, predominantly in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The fund is managed by SPE Capital, a team that was recently formed as a spin-off from Swicorp.

This commitment will increase the availability of private equity financing, which is crucial for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as for supporting companies’ growth, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Anne Fossemalle, EBRD Director for Equity Funds, said, “From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become even more important to continue supporting promising fund managers in the SEMED region in order to provide SMEs with continuous access to equity capital.”

This is the EBRD’s second commitment to AIF, following the US$ 20 million committed in 2019, bringing the Bank’s total commitment to AIF to US$ 30 million. Since its inception, the fund manager has made four investments across the pharmaceuticals, logistics, consumer products and education sectors. These investments have proven to be resilient in the face of adverse market conditions driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EBRD has been investing in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested more than €12.6 billion in 274 projects.

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