IFC invests in Amethis Partners’ fund to support African medium-sized businesses

Nairobi, Kenya, July 11, 2023—To support the development of medium-sized companies in Africa across a range of sectors, IFC today announced an investment in the first close of Amethis Partners' Amethis Fund III.

Amethis Fund III will provide essential growth capital to 10-12 medium-sized enterprises working in the healthcare, fast-moving consumer goods, infrastructure and energy, non-banking financial services, and manufacturing sectors, all vital to the development of African economies. The fund will focus on companies in countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania.  Furthermore, Amethis Fund III has committed to target at least 25 percent of its financing to go to women-owned or led businesses. Currently, only six percent of all private equity funding in sub-Saharan Africa goes to women-owned businesses.

IFC will make an equity investment of €40 million in the fund. In addition, the project includes a co-investment envelope of up to €30 million to enable IFC to co-invest in select companies alongside the Fund. IFC's investment in Amethis Partners' fund is aligned with its strategy to support private equity firms focused on helping medium-sized enterprises in Africa grow, reach new markets, and create jobs.

"We are proud to welcome leading investors in the third vintage of our flagship strategy. This successful first closing serves as a testament of our recognized expertise in this industry, with a diverse, high-caliber team of 45 professionals creating value from the ground. For us, this approach provides the best conditions to support African champions by helping them to enhance their governance, their efficiency and positive impact, and also by giving them access to our wide network and growth opportunities," said Luc Rigouzzo and Laurent Demey, Amethis Co-Founders.

"Medium-sized businesses are one of Africa's major economic engines, creating jobs, promoting regional integration, and supporting the continent's economic growth. Despite their potential, they often struggle to access the growth capital they need to scale. IFC's investment in Amethis Fund III will help mobilize and catalyze much-needed equity to this critical class of companies across the continent," said William Sonneborn, IFC Global Director for Disruptive Technologies, Creative Industries and Funds.

Private equity fundraising in Africa faces several challenges including high-risk perception, foreign exchange risk, and economic uncertainty. As a result, international investors have reduced investment allocation to the African market. IFC's investment seeks to anchor the fund's fundraising to help keep vital financing flowing to mid-cap companies in Africa.

The new investment is IFC's third commitment to funds managed by Amethis Partners. In 2017, IFC invested €15 million in Amethis Fund II, a pan-African growth equity fund. In 2021, IFC committed €12.5 million to Amethis MENA Fund II, an SME-focused fund targeting investments in the MENA region.


Source: IFC