A USD 50-60m SME Fund targeting Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq
Wassim Heneine and Karim Burhani
Emerging Investment Partners (EIP), a private equity fund management company, announced that its “EIP Levant Fund” has received capital commitments from the “International Finance Corporation” (IFC – member of the World Bank Group) and the Dutch Good Growth Fund.
EIP, stated that the fund, with a target size of USD 50-60m, is on track to a first close in Q1 2018, with the participation of regional and international investors.
“EIP Levant Fund” will aim to deploy capital raised from regional and international investors, into 8 to 10 investments in the next 3-4 years with investment tickets ranging from USD 5m - 8m in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Target countries include Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. Both the Fund and the fund manager will be licensed by the Malta Financial Service Authority.
The Fund will target well established SMEs in a variety of sectors that are resilient to economic challenges and are export oriented including Healthcare, Education, Agribusiness, Industry, FMCF and logistics. EIP will work on enabling these high potential companies to expand and scale their activities in the Middle East and Africa and become regional leaders.
According to EIP, founded by Obegi and Al Fadel groups with its Managing Directors Wassim Heneine and Karim Burhani, the fund will aim to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practices as well as economic inclusion in its portfolio companies. It will contribute to creating value and making an impact on the local communities through fostering economic development and job creation.
Commenting on this announcement, Wassim Heneine, Managing Director said: “we are currently evaluating investment opportunities and will be ready to invest in Q2 2018.” He explained that the fund aims to invest in equity (significant minority stakes) and quasi equity (including Mezzanine) instruments. He added: “We are privileged to have IFC and DGGF among our investors. This shows confidence in the team’s capability and the fund strategy. It also reflects belief and commitment to our region despite its economic challenges”.
Karim Burhani, Managing Director said: “We believe in the potential of Lebanon and our region and we will contribute to close the gap in financing for companies in the Levant by providing equity and quasi-equity instruments”. He said the fund “will accompany successful companies and entrepreneurs in their journey to become regional leaders in the various industries we invest in”. He stressed that the fund “will play an active role in its portfolio companies on a strategic level”.