Amethis Finance announced the close of its third debt investment last week. The Paris-based private equity firm participated in a FMO-led consortium, committing $15 million to a $75 million syndicated subordinated term loan for Ecobank Nigeria. The deal was originally signed in July and was subject to regulatory approval which has now been received, allowing the transaction to close.
Amethis invested alongside a number of DFIs including DEG who contributed $20 million, Swedfund who committed $10 million and lead arranger FMO who committed $30 million. The transaction will help Ecobank Nigeria bolster its loan portfolio, helping private sector development in Africa’s largest economy, as well as support the bank’s development and growth of SME lending.
Commenting on the transaction, Luc Rigouzzo, the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Amethis said “We are thrilled by this partnership with FMO on a transaction that will bolster Ecobank Nigeria’s activity towards the SMEs segment. This facility will strengthen Ecobank Nigeria’s capital base and competitive positioning.”
Ecobank Nigeria is a fully-fledged commercial bank with a large and competitive capacity in retail banking. The bank is one of the 8 systemically important banks in Nigeria and the 6th largest bank in terms of total assets. It currently has the 2nd largest branch network in the Nigerian banking industry.
The Ecobank Group is the first pan-African banking group, having a presence in 35 countries. It was established in 1985 in Togo by leading West African institutions to become the “first African bank”. The Group has rapidly grown by acquisition to reach a critical mass spanning the main financial hubs of the continent.