The European Investment Bank announces a EUR 25 million participation in the Amethis II fund, the second pan-African investment vehicle of the fund management company Amethis, which is dedicated to long-term responsible investment on the continent. Endowed with EUR 305 million at its intermediate closing in February 2019 thanks to the further contributions of over 60 private sector investors, the fund targets investment in strong-growth African SMEs and mid-caps with a single goal: making them the champions of tomorrow.

This partnership between the EU bank and Amethis reflects the two institutions’ common values: investment in development and entrepreneurship in Africa. Founded in 2011 by Luc Rigouzzo and Laurent Demey – two acknowledged Africa experts – the fund manager concentrates on financing that combines economic development and a strong societal impact. The EIB support, made available under the mandate provided by the Cotonou agreements, demonstrates the two institutions’ focus on creating and safeguarding jobs in growth firms: to judge by the first fund’s results, the Amethis II fund could generate 6 000 new indirect jobs in the companies in the portfolio, around 40% of which held by women.

At the same time, Amethis and the EIB are fully committed to promoting the ESG criteria. Accordingly, the fund manager’s strategy consists of taking stakes in family-owned SMEs and mid-caps to provide them with the financial and human resources necessary for them develop. This usually entails significant involvement in the firms’ Boards of Directors in order to support their strategic and commercial deliberations and improve their governance but also to advise them on their (internal or external) growth operations or raise their managers’ awareness of environmental and social issues.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said “thanks to its governance, its investment strategy and its long-term objectives, Amethis is a major partner for the EIB’s strategy in Africa. We are therefore very happy to continue supporting the Amethis fund.

Luc Rigouzzo and Laurent Demey added: “in view of its positioning as a long-term responsible investor, Amethis is proud to count the European Investment Bank as one of its main investors in the Amethis II fund. The EIB is historically one of the most experienced finance providers on the African continent and Amethis II will benefit from its geographical and sectoral know-how thanks to its participation in the fund’s governance.