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XSML backs Laboratoire BIS for ARF’s second deal

For its second investment in two weeks, XSML Capital, the Dutch investment fund manager focused on SME opportunities in Central Africa, has made an undisclosed investment in Laboratoire BIS, a manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The deal is being made through the Africa Rivers Fund, XSML’s second fund the Africa Rivers Fund which held a $45 million first close in February this year and targets debt, equity and mezzanine financing opportunities in fast-growing SMEs in deal ranging from $100,000 to $5 million in size.

Having been in operation for over 20 years, BIS has been able to build a strong brand presence for its specialist products in a market that is marked by a steady increase in consumer purchasing power and demand for pharmaceutical products and which is still relatively underdeveloped and reliant on pharmaceutical imports. The capital will be used to support the company’s next phase of growth.

XSML was founded in 2008 and looks to provide debt, equity and mezzanine capital to SMEs in the Central African and East African regions. The Central Africa SME Fund, which is now fully-invested, has made 32 investments across 10 sectors.  Some 80% of the fund’s investments have benefited SMEs in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the balance located in the Central African Republic. African Rivers Fund will continue to target opportunities in these two countries as well as in Burundi, Republic of Congo and Uganda.

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