Under its Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), the European Investment Bank (EIB) is joining forces with the Group Société Générale (SG group), through its asset management subsidiary Société Générale Asset Management (SGAM) for private equity support in the Mediterranean region. The EIB is participating to the tune of EUR 10 million to the SGAM Al Kantara Fund (Kantara Fund). The EIB is a significant partner of the initiative, as along its financial support, the Bank has been instrumental also in structuring the Kantara fund.

This multi-sector private equity investment fund is targeting private companies operating in selected Mediterranean Partner Countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan).

The Kantara Fund, which will ultimately reach a size of some EUR 120 million, is the first move of a major and experienced European asset manager in the Mediterranean area.

It will seek to generate capital appreciation by investing in equity or equity related securities in a portfolio of investments diversified across countries and sectors, mainly targeting medium to large sized companies with growth potential. The Fund's investments will also provide additional capital to finance companies' expansion and/or enable buyouts of existing shareholders. This will is tailored to address in a suitable way, the needs of family businesses facing generational issues and strengthen the investees' management.

In addition to its loans and technical assistance grants, FEMIP encourages the development of the private sector by acquiring equity and quasi-equity stakes in private companies in order to help Mediterranean Partner Countries speed up their economic and social modernisation, in particular through increased regional integration. These FEMIP activities are financed from the European Community budget (EUR 200 million over the period 2001-2006) and by the FEMIP Trust Fund, which was set up in December 2004 (EUR 33.5 million).