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IFC Asset Management Company Funds Invest $100 Million in Ecobank Transnational Inc., Supporting Growth and Access to Finance across Africa


In Washington, D.C.:
John McNally
Phone: +1 202 458-0723
E-mail:
JMcNally@ifc.org

Alexandra Klopfer
Phone: +1 202 473-4645
E-mail:
Aklopfer@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., July 17, 2012 – IFC Asset Management Company today announced a $100 million investment in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) which will help ETI strengthen its capital base, scale up in key markets, and expand its offerings across its network of 32 African countries, many of which are fragile and conflict-affected states.

ETI is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group and  provides wholesale, retail, investment, and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small, and micro businesses, and individuals. ETI’s large presence makes it an ideal partner to address development challenges in Africa, unlocking the economic potential of some of the world’s poorest countries. ETI has already been instrumental in IFC’s Africa MSME Program, providing much needed support for the growth of small businesses across the continent.

Three funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company—the IFC Capitalization Fund (IFC Cap Fund), the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund (IFC ALAC Fund), and the Africa Capitalization Fund—will invest up to $100 million in a subscription of ETI shares, for a combined stake of about 7.2 percent. IFC Asset Management Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. This investment comes as part of a successful fundraising program by ETI, which has also attracted large institutional investors, such as Nedbank and Public Investment Corporation of South Africa.

IFC and ETI have worked together since 1993 to increase access to finance, improve trade liquidity, and strengthen the banking sector in Africa. As part of this relationship, IFC has provided a range of advisory services to help ETI expand its microfinance, small and medium finance, and mortgage finance businesses. In 2009, IFC became a shareholder in ETI following the conversion of a $100 million loan into an equity stake of 9.2 percent. This is the second time IFC Asset Management Company funds have made investments in ETI. In June 2010, IFC Cap Fund and IFC ALAC Fund committed $150 million in loans, with half the amount convertible into equity.

“Our relationship with ETI continues to grow and this transaction is a crucial step in IFC’s strategy of improving access to finance in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC Acting CEO and Executive Vice President. “It will enable ETI to increase lending to underserved market segments, such as agribusiness, micro, small, and medium enterprises, and climate change. It will also promote trade and integration, and generate employment where it is needed most.”

Gavin E.R. Wilson, CEO of IFC Asset Management Company, said: “We are pleased to increase our shareholding in what we consider to be one of Africa's most impressive banks. ETI has built a unique platform across 32 countries in what is a fast growing but relatively underbanked region. This provides our investors with an opportunity to benefit from the region's strong growth prospects, as well as the continued consolidation of ETI’s market position."

As previously announced in December 2011, Thierry Tanoh, former IFC Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Western Europe, has become CEO-designate of Ecobank effective July 16, 2012. In line with best practices, Mr. Tanoh followed all World Bank Group policies regarding his move to an IFC client organization.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org/.

About IFC Asset Management Company
IFC Asset Management Company LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third-party capital, enabling outside investors to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns, as well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests. It manages the $3 billion IFC Capitalization Fund, founded by IFC and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation; the $1 billion IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund; and the $182 million Africa Capitalization Fund, whose investors are Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, African Development Bank, CDC Group plc, European Investment Bank, OPEC Fund for International Development, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.