EIB Global invests €25mn in Amethis Fund III for African business growth

  • The EIB has so far invested nearly €3 billion in equity funds with a geographic focus on Africa.

  • In 2023, close to 60% of the EIB’s fund investments were in Africa.

  • Amethis has supported the growth of more than 30 African companies employing more than 40 000 people.

The European Investment Bank’s EIB Global arm has invested €25 million in Amethis Fund III, a pan-African fund providing private equity growth capital to medium-sized companies on the continent.

Amethis Fund III will target companies supplying goods and services to low- and middle-income populations in Africa. The target sectors include healthcare, business services such as logistics and IT, manufacturing and distribution, including agribusiness and fast-moving consumer goods, non-banking financial services, and services related to infrastructure and energy.

The fund’s strategy is aligned with EIB Global’s investment goals as well as the European Union’s Global Gateway strategy by supporting economic development in a range of geographies, notably sub-Saharan countries. The fund will pursue an impact-driven strategy developed by Amethis to address critical issues for the continent’s sustainable development, by focusing on gender equality, sustainable employment — with a particular emphasis on health coverage — and climate considerations.

Commenting on the deal, EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros said: “The EIB is happy to support Amethis in its efforts to invest in small companies in low- and middle-income countries across Africa. We see Africa as a close and important partner to the Bank, which has a lot of potential and untapped opportunities. However, African enterprises still don’t have the patient equity capital they need for them to grow, which is what our partnership with funds like Amethis seeks to address.”

“Private capital is a powerful driver of economic development in Africa. Private equity funds, through investment in local enterprises, are playing a catalytic role by bringing external funding as well as knowledge and technical expertise to the companies they invest in,” he added.

Luc Rigouzzo and Laurent Demey, managing partners at Amethis, said: “We are proud to receive renewed support from the European Investment Bank. Building upon our prior collaborations, its strategic support will enable us to continue helping medium-sized companies deliver better goods and services to African consumers and to become African champions by promoting regional integration and sustainable economic growth.”

The EIB has invested nearly €3 billion in equity funds with a geographic focus on Africa. Some of these funds are country-specific, while others have a regional focus. The EIB’s early investment has had a catalytic effect in attracting other investors to funds due to the Bank’s best market practice in terms of environmental, social and governance criteria, thus ensuring maximum impact at the level of portfolio companies.

12 years since its creation, Amethis has supported the growth of more than 30 African companies directly employing more than 40 000 people. These companies are not only contributing to the development of a high-quality economy, but are also working towards important Sustainable Development Goals for the continent.

Amethis benefits from a strong on-the-ground presence across the four African capitals of Nairobi, Abidjan, Casablanca and Cairo, which helps to identify new opportunities and monitor the market’s evolution in each country. It also enables Amethis to build a reputation for itself as a trusted partner to companies in their expansion phases, favouring value creation and impact.