Post Views: 598 Investment banking group- United Capital Plc at the weekend in Bamako, Mali sealed a deal to set up a Franco-African Investment Fund (...
Investment banking group- United Capital Plc at the weekend in Bamako, Mali sealed a deal to set up a Franco-African Investment Fund (FFA), with investible funds of €77 million to accelerate the growth of innovative and entrepreneurial African and French small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with development projects on both continents.
Partners in the Franco-African Investment Fund sponsored by BpiFrance and Africinvet, which was sealed on the sideline of the Franco African Summit are: Societe Generale Orange, BpiFrance, Africinvet, Caisse Nationale de Prevoyance Sociale of CDI, Proparco (AFD), SAHAM from Morocco, Financecom, the pension fund of the Central Bank of Kenya and other private investors in Kenya. .
The Fund, United Capital said in a statement, will be split into two equal halves, with 50% to be invested in French SMEs interested in doing business in and with Africa, while the other will be invested in African SMEs.
Specifically, the FFA will invest primarily in African SMEs with high growth potential in a bid to create champions of regional and even continental statures.
But beyond capital contribution, the Fund managers will assist French companies grow in Africa and, conversely, African companies in their growth strategy in France and Europe
The signing ceremony of Africa’s first cross border investment fund dedicated to the continent’s development and French SMEs, with a lifespan of 10 years, was witnessed by Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita; and French President Francois Hollande amongst other global leaders in the private and public sectors.
Bunmi Akinremi, Deputy Group CEO of United Capital Plc, signed on behalf of the company, a limited partner on the French Africa Fund.
The statement further explained that beyond financial performance, particular attention will be paid to the positive impact of the Fund’s investments in terms of governance, transparency, job creation, and respect for social and environmental values.
The participation by United Capital is considered symbolic as it portends a strategic inroad into the continent, which would see it play big in an emerging continental economy.
The statement quoted Akinremi as saying that “the French government wants to explore growth markets and Africa has been identified as another area of growth. United Capital is keen to encourage the expansion of economic opportunity for Africa.” Also commenting on the deal, United Capital’s Group Chief Executive, Oluwatoyin Sanni, expressed the company’s commitment “to expanding its investment horizon and identifying prime opportunities to grow returns for its investors not just in Nigeria but on the African continent. The purpose of the fund aligns with what United Capital seeks to achieve in Africa”