The Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF) today announced that it has formed a consortium with Helios Investment Partners (Helios) and the MENA Long-Term Value Fund (MENA LTV Fund) to acquire a majority stake in Fawry, the leading electronic bill payment platform in Egypt. The agreement was reached at a purchase price of EGP 773 million, or approximately US$ 100 million. Fawry provides users with a secure electronic bill presentment and payment services solution, connecting consumers, merchants, governments and financial institutions on a consolidated gateway that is accessible through multiple channels, including Point of Sale (POS) machines, ATMs and mobile wallets.
This announcement is a major step in EAEF’s primary goal to attract new foreign investors to local markets, promote financial inclusion and create employment opportunities in the country. The Fund also aims to identify and address gaps in financing markets for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Egypt, and creates opportunities for the private sector to flourish. EAEF’s Consortium with Helios and MENA LTV Fund combines depth of expertise within the industry, extensive local experience and strong connectivity across Africa and the Middle East.
James A. Harmon, Chairman of EAEF, added: “We are honoured to partner with this esteemed group of investors; both of our partners share the same values as EAEF. They each have a strong commitment to the country, and continue to provide local support with their global expertise in the payments sector. We look forward to working together to accelerate Fawry’s impressive growth trajectory by enabling it to further increase the penetration of its financial services products in Egypt. Following the completion of this agreement, we believe Fawry will be strongly positioned to accelerate its investment in new products and services.”
EAEF has spent the last two years building its foundation to ensure it is able to deliver on its objectives. As a result, the Fund now has nine directors, six of whom are Arabic speaking Egyptians or Egyptian-Americans. To continue their support for entrepreneurship in Egypt, EAEF is working to allocate 5% of its US$300M grant to fund start-ups in Egypt.
In Egypt, only 10% of the population holds a bank account; however, access to basic financial services is crucial to reducing income inequality and driving inclusive growth. For this reason, EAEF’s first area of focus is financial inclusion. The Fund’s team plans to expand its distribution platform to better serve Egypt’s population, and is proud to declare that it will be announcing additional investments in the country in the coming months, totalling approximately US$60M.
The Consortium will work in partnership with the management team and the International Financial Corporation (“IFC”) to disseminate international commercial best practices. Closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.