Horizon Capital sells stake in Belarus bank

The exit comes a few months after Horizon lost its chief executive officer Natalie Jaresko, who became minister of finance in Ukraine

Horizon Capital, a private equity firm based in the Ukraine, has agreed to sell its stake in MTBank, a Belarusian bank, exiting its stake together with the majority shareholder, to a local undisclosed investor.

Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed.

Since Horizon Capital’s investment in 2007, MTBank has grown its loan book by 290 percent in US dollar terms. Horizon Capital, together with majority shareholder Subr Capital, helped develop the bank, expanding and strengthening the management team and shifting the strategy of MTBank from a focus on corporate lending to a fully-fledged retail platform.

In less than three years since launching its retail business, MTBank has grown market share from less than 1 percent to more than 11 percent. The number of bank employees has more than tripled and now exceeds 1,500.

“This is truly an enormous achievement given the challenges faced over the life of this investment and is only possible because of the commitment to excellence of the management team and shareholders,” Lenna Koszarny, Horizon’s founding partner and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The exit comes a few months after Horizon lost founding partner and former chief executive Natalie Jaresko, after she became finance minister in the Ukrainian government.

For Horizon, which invests in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, the investment climate has been far from easy due to the war in the Ukraine, Jaresko told PEI last year. “Export markets like Russia or parts of our domestic market like Crimea are not very open to business to put it lightly. That said, we can see in our portfolio companies that the current situation has spurred our business partners to be much more creative. They are looking at alternative export markets in a much more creative and urgent fashion.”

Horizon is currently investing its Emerging Europe Growth Fund II, a mid-cap private equity fund with total capital commitments of $370 million. EEGF II typically invests between $10 million and 40 million in each of its portfolio companies, including expansion, buy-out and selective early stage opportunities, according to Horizon's website.