DFIs back $400m MENA fund

Saudi-based fund manager Swicorp has attracted commitments from the IFC, EIB and PROPARCO for its Intaj Capital II fund.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and French development finance institution PROPARCO are to invest in Intaj Capital II, a MENA-focused fund managed by Saudi-based Swicorp, a private equity, corporate finance advisory and principal investment firm.

The fund, which has a total target of $400 million, will invest in companies with a maximum enterprise value of $300 million in consumer demand-driven sectors such as retail, communications and consumer financial services. It aims to make 12 to 15 investments with equity commitments of between $15 million to $60 million per deal. It is targeting an IRR of 30 percent.

Having been mulling an investment in the current fund since November 2009, IFC has now decided to commit $20 million. IFC has already committed $860 million to MENA financial markets this year, and its total 2010 private equity commitments are up 22 percent from the previous year, according to its press release.

French developmental finance institution PROPARCO, which makes private investments in developing markets, also invested in Intaj Capital I. Neither PROPARCO nor EIB could be reached for comment and have not disclosed their commitments.

Intaj Capital I closed on $250 million and is now fully deployed. It has made a total of eight transactions, including companies in the textile manufacturing, real estate and packaging sectors across the MENA region.

Swicorp has approximately $1.3 billion of assets under management, with offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Algiers, Dubai, Tunis, and Geneva.