Crédit Agricole Egypt Invests $ 5 million in Beltone Midcap Fund
CAIRO, Egypt: 22 June 2010 - In the presence of Mr. Henri Guillemin, Managing Director of Credit Agricole Egypt and Mr. Hazem Barakat, Chairman of Private Equity, Credit Agricole Egypt and Beltone Midcap Management S.A. signed an agreement to invest 5 million USD in the new Midcap Fund. This new fund was initiated to provide support and help in developing the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector in Egypt. Under this agreement, CAE is the first multinational bank, and the second local bank to participate in this fund.
"SMEs are considered the backbone of the Egyptian economy due to their significant role. At Credit Agricole Egypt we have been working vigilantly to develop this vital segment of the economy. Besides our diversified product portfolio, the bank provides financial advice for entrepreneurs, which has been translated into the greater confidence shown from SMEs clients" said Henri Guillemin, CAE Managing Director. "We are very happy to join hands with Beltone, Siparex as well as other renowned financial institutions such as the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) and the European Investment Bank. Through this agreement, the fund will support SMEs by funding their capital. This will help SMEs to increase their capital and business volume as well as allowing them to become more capitalised and therefore bankable", he added.
In 2009, the bank launched several initiatives to empower the Egyptian SME sector.CAE launched the first platform of international trade in Egypt (www.egyp-import-export.com) to support international trade operators providing free access to information and business alerts. Also, the bank conducted extensive location and proximity studies. Accordingly, Credit Agricole Egypt has launched 11 business centres in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Port Said and Sinai. The business centres are focused on serving companies as well as major industrial shipping and touristic areas, helping customers to execute all their banking activities in one place.
"In general, SMEs represent an influential segment of the global economic activities worldwide. SMEs are significantly contributing to national GDP, especially the family SMEs that help in boosting various economic activities in Egypt. However, Some SMEs lack technical and managerial expertise, as well as solvency; which negatively affects their growth potentials. Currently, our plan is to provide SMEs with necessary resources that would help them to overcome various obstacles generated from the global crisis" said Dr. Abdel Monem Omran, Managing Director of Belton Private Equity. "Although the fund will not manage the SMEs, it will help in developing their potentials especially those with real export capabilities. Our objective is to help SMEs financially while enhancing their standard performance and maximizing revenues on all levels. At the end, this will positively impact the fund overall performance and investment returns."
Since the Fund inception, the International Finance Corporation - a member of the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Export Development Bank of Egypt joined the Beltone MidCap Fund as Anchor Investors.
It is worth mentioning that Beltone Midcap Investments has also invested in the fund with 5.5 million USD, the Arab Investment Bank with 1.5 million USD as well as the Fund Manager with one million USD and a total of individual investments of 500,000 USD. The fund is managed by a joint company formed by bringing together Beltone Private Equity's knowledge with Siparex international experience in SMEs fund management.
Beltone is expecting the volume of the fund to reach 200 Million USD, divided in two sub funds as follows: 100 million USD to be invested in Egypt; and 100 million USD to be invested in the GCC.
About Beltone Private Equity
Beltone Private Equity was established in 2006 to capitalize on the unprecedented changes taking place in Egypt investment environment. Beltone Private Equity was created with a vision to combine the practical industrialist experience of Hazem Barakat with the investment experience of Beltone principals and the private equity team's regional and international expertise in managing and launching earliest PE funds in Egypt . As of the end of May 2010 Beltone Private Equity manages seven funds with total assets under management of EGP 2.8 billion.
CAE was established when Crédit Agricole SA, a leading global financial institution operating in more than 70 countries, and the Mansour & Maghraby Investment & Development Company (MMID) acquired the Egyptian American Bank and merged the network with Calyon Bank Egypt in September 2006. Today, CAE's committed team of experts offers a wide range of products and services designed to meet the demands of leading national and regional Corporations, SMEs, and retail clients, as well as high net worth customers. In addition to its network of branches conveniently located throughout the country, Crédit Agricole Egypt offers online banking services for easy access and convenient transactions (www.ca-egypt.com) in addition to its call center (19191) available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
About Sigefi (Siparex Group)
With 30 years' experience and approximately €900 (820 as of today) million in assets under management, the Siparex Group is France's leading independent middle-market private equity specialist. The Group operates essentially in France and Southern Europe (Italy and Spain).
Since 1994, alongside its fund management business in Europe, Sigefi has developed a fund advisory, management, and co-management business in the emerging markets. It has conducted several assignments for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and International Finance Corp. (World Bank group). On the southern shore of the Mediterranean, it has helped launch and expand Tuninvest Finance Group (Tunisia) and Capital Invest, a subsidiary of BMCE (Morocco), which are the two largest private equity investment fund management companies in North Africa. It is a shareholder and board member of these two companies. Sigefi has also been conducting a number of advisory assignments in Algeria and Lebanon.
Dr. Abdel Monem Omran
Chief Investment Officer, Beltone Private Equity
Dr. Omran is the Chief Investment Officer of Beltone Private Equity. He brings a long and extensive experience in the areas of project finance development, direct investment and management of private equity funds in Egypt, the Gulf and Europe. Dr. Omran joined the Industrial Bank of Kuwait in1976 as manager of project finance where he was responsible for the, evaluation and financial structuring of investments. He joined Helarb Management S.A. Switzerland, as a partner and Managing Director in 1987. Helarb is an investment firm with over SF 500 million in funds under management. Investments were mainly in Germany, France, and Switzerland. Dr. Omran served as the Managing Director of Arab Investment Company, one of the first Private Equity funds in Egypt 1997, promoted by the Arab Bank Ltd, Jordon and led the management team in making over E£ 400 million in investments. Dr. Omran holds a Phd degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California (Berkeley).
Mr. Hazem Barakat
Chairman, Beltone Private Equity
As well as holding the position of Chairman of Beltone Private Equity, Mr. Barakat is also CEO of MIRACO-Carrier. He is an experienced investor in private equity ventures as well as an accomplished business strategist. Mr. Barakat graduated from the New York Institute of Technology in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently a Member of the Advisory Council of the School of Business, Economics, and Communication at the American University in Cairo and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Economic Forum. He is also a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, the British Egyptian Business Association, and the Egyptian Businessmen's Association.
Mr. Henri Guillemin
Managing Director, Crédit Agricole Egypt
French born Henri Guillemin has a stellar track record in banking and finance spanning over 30 years, and three continents. Mr. Guillemin has a Masters in Economics from Paris Sorbonne, and Masters of Business Administration from Insead Fontainebleau in Paris, France. Mr. Guillemin began his career at Crédit Lyonnais in Paris in 1973, and moved six years later to Banque Indosuez where he quickly moved up the corporate ladder taking up key positions in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and France. After more than four years as the CEO of Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh, Mr. Guillemin soon became Senior Vice President of the Middle East for the newly formed Crédit Agricole Indosuez in Paris, and continued to use his vast knowledge of the region till his appointment as Head of Middle East and Africa at Calyon in 2003. In January 2008, Mr. Guillemin moved back to the Middle East to take up his current position as Managing Director of Crédit Agricole Egypt.