Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), a private equity firm investing in small and medium-sized private equity transactions in the Ukraine and Moldova, has announced two deals in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
Both deals were announced in late October and comprise expansion capital deals worth $5m. The larger of the two is a $3m investment in Shvydko, an existing chain of quick-service restaurants in Ukraine, which is planning to expand the number of outlets it operates in Kiev. The company, which serves traditional Ukrainian food, currently operates seven restaurants, employing 300 people.
The firm has also backed the launch of Energy Alliance, a Ukrainian company that will design and implement energy efficiency projects in local industry. WNISEF is the company’s largest shareholder, with a 59.9 per cent ownership stake valued at $2m. Other shareholders include the country’s largest glass manufacturer Hostomel Glass Plant and national engineering firm Turbo-Spektr.
Since its inception in 1995, WNISEF has invested a total of $85.5m to 27 companies in Ukraine and Moldova, employing more than 15,000 people. The fund is run by Natalie Jaresko, WNISEF president and chief executive officer. The Western NIS Enterprise Fund is one of eleven such funds created by the US government to help various Eastern European countries and newly formed republics that once were part of the Soviet Union transition to market economies.
WNISEF, which has offices in the US, Ukraine and Moldova, mostly provides $1m to $10m with an average investment of $3m.
Eastern Europe as a whole has seen an increase in activity in 2003, particularly in terms of fundraising. Most recently, Ukraine-based AVentures announced the launch of a $50m fund investing in the country's hi-tech industry.