Développement international Desjardins (DID) and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) have signed a strategic agreement aimed at helping develop small enterprises in Central and East Africa. The agreement is specifically designed for investment in the entrepreneur financial centers (EFC) set up in that region by DID. The EFCs are specialized financial institutions that provide small entrepreneurs with the financial products and services they need to develop business and fulfill their role in stimulating economic growth and job creation.
First equity transaction for BIO’s Enterprises Department
BIO has become a shareholder in Reltex Tarpaulins (Africa) EPZ ltd., Kenya, in March of this year. This is the first equity deal for the Enterprises Department, which previously granted only long-term debt financing to its clients.
On 22 March 2012, a delegation lead by H.R.H. Prince Philip was welcomed by Grand Place’s founder and President, Gricha Safarian. At this occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Puratos Group, confirming both parties’ intention to join forces in Vietnam. Under this agreement, approximately USD 10 million will be invested to expand the current chocolate capacity and the collection, fermentation and processing station for single origin cocoa beans in Vietnam.
LocFund is an Investment Fund providing financing in local currency to microfinance institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Widely focused on institutions with limited access to funding and less opportunities to optimize their financing structure, LocFund provides local currency financing reducing local currency devaluation risks.
BIO is confident that its operations have a significant positive impact on the development of the local economy in underprivileged countries and on the improvement of living conditions of the local populations.
Under the financing agreement, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), the German Development Finance Institution (DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH), the South African Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Belgian Development Bank (BIO), together with Cordiant managed ICF Debt Pool, are providing debt financing of €133 million. The Swedish Development Fund (Swedfund) and FMO are to join AOG as equity partners. The total size of the investment is estimated at €267 million. The financial close and first draw down of loans and equity is expected to take place in November 2011.