The EuroMena Fund, a private equity fund run by the Capital Trust Group, recently invested $20 million in the capital of Credit Libanais, one of the leading Lebanese alpha banks.
The fund took part of a sale arranged by Credit Libanais Investment Bank (Clib) of 9.41 million shares held by EFG-Hermes, the exiting majority shareholder. The Central Bank of Lebanon officially approved the transaction on June 3, a press release said.
Established in 1961, Credit Libanais is a provider of a full range of banking products and services. It has a network of 69 branches in Lebanon and is present in five other countries serving more than 300,000 customers, according to the bank.
In 2009, Credit Libanais obtained a license to operate in eight countries in the West Africa region; the targeted countries are Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. The bank opened its first branch in Dakar in 2011 and its second branch in 2015.
The bank’s principal activities include retail banking, investment banking, treasury, capital markets, private banking and asset management, corporate banking, e-banking services, Islamic banking, and other services.
According to Credit Libanais, it was the first Lebanese bank to introduce e-banking activities through point-of-sale and ATM networks. Currently, Credit Libanais has one of the largest electronic POS networks in the country with 9,800 electronic POS and 150,000 banking cards distributed.
Romen Mathieu, managing partner of The EuroMena Funds, commented: “We are confident that the bank’s extensive network and experienced management team as well as our knowledge in the sector and region will bear its fruits in terms of activity and geographical expansion.”
EuroMena has a substantive experience in the Lebanese banking sector. In 2008, it invested in Intercontinental Bank of Lebanon (IBL) bank and successfully exited it in 2011 with a high return to its shareholders, said a press release. EuroMena II also invested in First National Bank (FNB) and is still to date one of its prominent shareholders.
In line with its strategy, EuroMena III will assist the top management of Credit Libanais in its growth and development in the Middle East and Africa, where the fund enjoys a wide network and important market knowledge, the press release added.
This transaction constitutes the third investment of EuroMena III after its recent investment in Elephant in Nigeria and Jasmin in Tunisia.
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