WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Egypt’s fledgling democracy received a significant boost from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, when OPIC’s Board of Directors approved $150 million in financing for investment in such critical sectors as consumer foods, manufacturing and financial services.
OPIC’s Board approved an investment guaranty to Citibank for a loan of up to $150 million to Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa, to expand its subsidiaries working in critical sectors in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Of the total guaranty amount, $125 million is specifically designated for investment in Egypt.
The project represents another step toward fulfilling OPIC’s commitment to provide $2 billion of investment support to the MENA region, announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her March trip to Egypt. In July, OPIC’s Board approved $500 million in financing to support lending to small businesses in Egypt and Jordan.
“In order to support the economic and political transformation of the Arab Spring, MENA countries need investment in vital sectors – and that’s precisely the goal of this project,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “It addresses the shortage of credit in Egypt, where investment in important infrastructure sectors has been stymied by political uncertainty. We expect that this project, by catalyzing economic growth and creating jobs, will make an important contribution to the growth of both democracies.”
Aftab Ahmed, CEO of Citi Egypt, said, "This strategic partnership with OPIC and key local commercial banks highlights Citi’s ongoing commitment to clients in Egypt, and demonstrates our willingness to support growth initiatives."
“OPIC’s financing facility comes at a time when the commercial sectors in Egypt most need support. We appreciate OPIC’s confidence in our firm to manage this vitally important $150 million investment,” said Citadel Capital Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “This will give us the flexibility we need to grow a number of our Egyptian platform companies amid economic headwinds from still-unfolding regional events.”
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa. Citadel Capital focuses on building regional sector leading companies in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfield investments.. The firm currently controls 19 platform companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.7 billion in 15 countries spanning 15 industries, including river barge and rail freight transportation, agriculture and food, waste management and glass packaging. Since 2004, Citadel Capital has generated more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash returns to its co-investors and shareholders, more than any other private equity firm in the region. Citadel Capital is the largest private equity firm in Africa by PE assets under management (2006-2011, as ranked by Private Equity International). For more information, please visit www.citadelcapital.com.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported nearly $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated $74 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 275,000 American jobs.