The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced a 10 million U.S. dollars equity investment in Catalyst Fund to stimulate employment and accelerate economic growth across East Africa by improving access to equity financing for emerging and midsize companies.
A statement from the IFC said the Catalyst Principal Partners, a private equity firm based in Kenya, has raised 70 million dollars for the fund.
Other investors include the African Development Bank, the Commonwealth Development Corporation, Germany’s development finance company DEG and PROPARCO of France.
“ IFC is supporting this fund to help East Africa’s entrepreneurs gain better access to finance and promote the high growth and dynamic companies that encourage sustainable development and create jobs and new opportunities,” said Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“The fund will invest in growth companies with dynamic management to drive growth, regional expansion, consolidation, and performance improvement,” the statement said.
The fund’s investments in target companies will range from 5 million dollars to 15 million dollars.
“We anticipate additional substantial commitments in the coming months to achieve our target fund size,” Paul Kavuma, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst, said.
“We are particularly encouraged by the interest expressed from regional pension funds and insurance companies, noting that we have already received significant capital from reputable local institutions and private investors.”
The fund will be managed by Catalyst Principal Partners, and aims to invest in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and other neighboring countries in East Africa.
It will provide financial and management advice to up to 14 midsize companies across a diversity of sectors.