Firms Conclude First Phase of $60m Equity Scheme for Nigeria, Ghana

Dec 2009
Lagos, Nigeria, December, 15 2009 - Alitheia Capital, in collaboration with Goodwell Investments BV and JCS Investments, yesterday announced the first close of a $60 million (N9 billion) equity fund, focused on microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria and Ghana.

FMO and a number of Dutch high net-worth individuals and institutional investors invested in the fund, which will be managed by a partnership of investment managers based in Nigeria, Ghana and the Netherlands.

The objective of the Fund, according to its facilitators, is to selectively invest in entrepreneurial MFIs with the potential to generate attractive returns and positive social impact.

Its strategy is to provide a combination of growth capital for growing, early stage and transforming MFIs, on the ground support to MFI management teams, and access to the expertise and a global network of microfinance practitioners.

Besides investing in existing grown MFIs as well as those that have the potential for transformation, the Fund will invest in early-stage MFIs to enable the development of institutions based on best practices from an early stage and free from legacy issues.

Managing Director of Alitheia, Tokunboh Ishmael, said "the development is a milestone in the development of the Nigerian microfinance sector.

"The capital that Alitheia Goodwell can now inject into microfinance in Nigeria will help professionalise the industry, drive more rapid growth and ultimately go some way to lifting Nigerians out of poverty, in addition to securing financial returns for our investors."

A press statement made available yesterday, said the Fund has built a strong pipeline of high-potential investments and hopes to announce its first investment within the first quarter of 2010.

A partner at Goodwell, Els Boerhof, said "Nigeria is a dynamic market offering a wide range of opportunities for long term, experienced investors.

"We are delighted that our investors recognise this and have given us the mandate to put their money to work to deepen the financial sector in West Africa."

Source : The Guardian

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