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IFC Invests in Catalyst Fund to Improve Access to Finance for East African Growth Companies

Nairobi, Kenya, March 8, 2011 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $10 million equity investment in Catalyst Fund I LLC to stimulate employment and accelerate economic growth across East Africa by improving access to equity financing for emerging and midsize companies.
Catalyst Principal Partners, a private equity firm based in Kenya, has raised $70 million for the fund. Other investors include the African Development Bank, the Commonwealth Development Corporation, Germany’s development finance company DEG and PROPARCO of France. The fund will invest in growth companies with dynamic management to drive growth, regional expansion, consolidation, and performance improvement.
The fund's investments in target companies will range from $5 million to $15 million
Paul Kavuma, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst, said: “We anticipate additional substantial commitments in the coming months to achieve our target fund size. We are particularly encouraged by the interest expressed from regional pension funds and insurance companies, noting that we have already received significant capital from reputable local institutions and private investors.”
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said: “IFC is supporting this fund to help East Africa’s entrepreneurs gain better access to finance and promote the high growth and dynamic companies that encourage sustainable development  and create jobs and new opportunities.”
The fund will be managed by Catalyst Principal Partners LLC, and aims to invest in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and other neighboring countries in East Africa. It will provide financial and management advice to up to 14 midsize companies across a diversity of sectors.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .