OPIC and Amethis Finance sign a US $ 150 million credit line to support the development of priority sectors in Africa
Paris, the 5th of September 2013
OPIC and Amethis Finance are pleased to announce the signature of a US$ 150 million credit line dedicated to investments in priority sectors that are critical to Africa’s economic growth but which to date have lacked access to long-term capital: financial services agribusiness, booming consuming sectors , energy and infrastructures.
The OPIC financing will allow Amethis Finance to provide, on top of its traditional equity product, long-term debt financing for fast-growing businesses contemplating regional or continental expansion in Africa. By creating a new financial tool for companies poised to become regional leaders in those sectors, the OPIC credit line will fill a financing gap in Africa that has created investment bottlenecks in sectors that offer sound investment opportunities in an increasingly urbanizing continent.
Among the project’s many benefits, Amethis Finance’s team of both international and local employees will help facilitate knowledge transfers of lending practices, international accounting standards, developmental assessments, and environmental assessments through its advisory services and corporate governance practices.
After a successful first closing of more than US$ 170 million, composed mainly of private African, European and US shareholders, most of them investing in Africa for the first time. Amethis is continuing to raise capital from a number of additional European and U.S. investors.
“Our strategy is to foster long term ties with African responsible businesses, and support them in a new phase of their life cycle to help them address the opportunities of high growth in their regional space”, says Luc Rigouzzo, Executive President and Co-Founder of Amethis Finance. “The OPIC support will be instrumental in enabling Amethis Finance to develop a significant long term debt activity for the benefit of our local clients”, adds Laurent Demey, CEO and Co-Founder.
“Agribusiness, infrastructure, energy and financial services are all critical to Africa’s ongoing economic growth – and consequently offer great investment prospects – but they need to access long-term financing,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “Amethis Finance will help bridge that gap by enabling African companies with the greatest potential to grow those sectors more quickly and efficiently.”
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 277,000 American jobs.