Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French national investment bank Bpifrance to jointly invest up to $416 million in private firms of Africa.
Benefits for African SMEs
The two companies stated that their area of interest would be high-growth African startups, SMEs, and mid-caps, in which they would invest through direct investments in private equity and venture capital funds.
The newly launched program seeks to increase the number of investments in top-tier African private equity and venture capital funds. The program is designed to focus on regional, multi-country, and pan-African capital by roping in wealth and fund managers with a proven track record and gradually build upon the expertise and network of Bpifrance.
The MoU comes after France and the UAE committed, alongside 45 other countries and institutions, to working collectively towards a post-Covid economic recovery in Africa, including support for entrepreneurs and SMEs, as part of the Summit on the Financing of African Economies held in May.
Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO, Mubadala, said, “Over the years, we have developed a strong relationship with Bpifrance and have successfully invested or committed approximately $1.78 billion in more than 15 investments in France. We are excited to extend this partnership into Africa, a market with significant untapped potential, to invest in high-growth companies.”
“We are more convinced than ever of the tremendous potential of Africa’s private sector and of the pivotal role that African private equity will play in uncovering and empowering industrial and tech champions throughout the continent,” said Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Bpifrance.
Positive Outcomes of a Bilateral Relationship
Bpifrance and Mubadala have built a strong relationship since the launch of the French Emirati Fund in 2014 and the Innovation Partnership in 2017, with over $1 billion of joint investments in French companies and a $1 billion commitment by Mubadala into Bpifrance’s flagship Lac1 Fund dedicated to listed French multinationals.
Mubadala Investment Company, a sovereign investor, manages a diverse portfolio of assets and investments in the UAE and abroad to generate sustainable financial returns for its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi. It is a $243 billion business that spans six continents with interests across multiple sectors and asset classes. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Mubadala also has offices in London, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, and Beijing.
As the world's new geography for expansion and growth, Africa is home to some important and fast-growing economies, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, and Congo. With a population of around 1.3 billion people, the continent is expected to grow faster than many other developing countries, presenting an opportunity for SMEs and investors alike to invest and reap the benefits.
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