IFC to invest $20 mln to boost Egypt's medium-sized businesses

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 31 Jan 2022

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank body, is set to pump $20 million in investments in Egypt-based Ezdehar, a private equity fund manager focused on Egypt.

International Finance Corporation

Established in 2015, Ezdehar has over $250 million under management, partnering with companies seeking to invest to accelerate growth and unlock value.

The IFC said that its investment is meant to help medium-sized businesses in the Egyptian market access the financing and tools they need to grow, create jobs, and overcome COVID-19 challenges.

Through the IFC’s $20 million investment in the Ezdehar Mid-Cap Fund II (EMF II), the fund’s total commitments will reach $168 million at first close.

EMF II will invest in businesses across important growth sectors in Egypt, including consumer and retail, business services, education, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Besides capital, the fund will provide businesses with operational and management support to help them execute best-in-class environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards and develop into market-leading enterprises.

 “With this fund, Ezdehar was able to significantly expand its investor base to include a unique set of reputable regional and global institutions. This fund is setting Ezdehar as the preferred partner for deploying development capital to build homegrown private sector champions in Egypt,” said Emad Barsoum, Ezdehar’s founder and managing director.

Shruti Chandrasekhar, IFC’s Africa Regional Lead for Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds, stated IFC remains committed to providing funding and support to businesses that need them most, as the pandemic continues to present companies with unprecedented challenges.

“Our investment in Ezdehar will help sustain and create jobs and promote entrepreneurship in Egypt,” she explained.

A number of international investors support the fund, including: the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries; CDC Group PLC; the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the European Investment Bank; and FMO, the Entrepreneurial Development Bank.

Private equity and venture capital play a critical role providing funding in markets where it is scarce, helping build dynamic, job-creating companies that drive growth and development, according to the IFC.

It added that this investment reflects the IFC’s strategy to provide growth capital in Egypt and other emerging markets across Africa.

Over the past two fiscal years, IFC has committed and mobilised more than $716 million in Egypt, supporting private businesses and economic activity through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to IFC.

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