Apis to acquire stake in MicroCred

Apis Partners has agreed to buy a “significant” minority stake in MicroCred, a financial services provider in Africa and Asia. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction that’s expected to close before the end of the year.

PRESS RELEASE

LONDON, December 16, 2015 – Apis Partners LLP (“Apis”), a private equity asset manager focused on financial services in the growth markets of Africa and Asia, and MicroCred Holdings (“MicroCred” or the “Company”), a leading financial services provider across seven countries in Africa and Asia, today announced that Apis has signed definitive agreements to acquire a significant minority stake in MicroCred.

MicroCred provides a range of financial products to the under-banked micro, small and medium-enterprise (MSME) segment across seven countries in Africa and Asia. The Company currently serves over 325,000 clients in Madagascar, Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mali, Tunisia, and the provinces of Sichuan and Nanchong in China. MicroCred offers credit products, savings accounts, and access to electronic payment methods such as cards and ATMs. As of June 2015, MicroCred’s loan portfolio totalled over US$ 300 million.

MicroCred is one of the few global financial institutions that successfully provides financial services to under-banked populations across multiple growth markets. As a result of its management’s multijurisdictional experience over the past decade, the Company is ideally positioned to expand into new markets, launch new products, and introduce alternative distribution channels such as agent networks and mobile branches.

MicroCred’s CEO, Arnaud Ventura commented on the transaction: “Since it was founded by PlaNet Finance in 2005, MicroCred has provided critical financial services to hundreds of thousands of small entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia through a network of more than 130 branches and over a thousand agents spread across our markets. For the vast majority of our clients, MicroCred is the first interaction with a formal financial institution. We are delighted to welcome Apis Partners as one of our shareholders, and look forward to benefiting from their expertise in alternative distribution models and financial technology to accelerate the expansion of our products and customer base.”

Apis Partners is joining a strong shareholder base comprised of leading development finance institutions and strategic shareholders.

“Only 50% of the global adult population has access to the formal financial sector, and this figure drops to 24% in Sub-Saharan Africa*. However, demand for affordable, high-quality financial services is increasing as incomes rise steadily in global growth markets and financial institutions adopt innovative business models to serve them profitably,” said Apis Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Matteo Stefanel. “MicroCred is at the forefront of combining traditional lending practices with technological innovations to deliver a range of critical financial products to MSMEs, which drive economic growth in growth markets. We are delighted to be investing in MicroCred. ”

Udayan Goyal, Apis Co-Founder and Managing Partner, added “We are impressed by MicroCred’s industry-leading track record of execution over the past decade, and we look forward to supporting its management team as it leverages new business models and financial technologies in achieving its ambitious growth prospects.”

The transaction is expected to close by year-end.

* Source: World Bank Global Findex

About MicroCred Holding
MicroCred (www.microcredgroup.com) is a leading financial institution providing high quality financial services that are accessible and adapted to the needs of financially unbanked or underbanked customer segments, particularly MSMEs, across seven countries in Africa and Asia. MicroCred operates in Madagascar, Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mali, and Tunisia in Africa, and the provinces of Sichuan and Nanchong in China. It is one of the few global financial institutions that has successfully operationalised and scaled the provision of micro credit in a tailored manner.

MicroCred was founded in 2005 by PlaNet Finance and partner shareholders. Its objective is to improve the living conditions of clients and their families, and to contribute to the economic development of the countries in which it operates.

About Apis Partners
Apis Partners (www.apis.pe) is a private equity asset manager that supports growth stage financial services companies in Africa and Asia by providing catalytic, growth equity capital. Apis’ operating network includes on-the-ground presence in 5 countries, a core team of 12 investment professionals and over 20 additional financial services sub-sector experts. Apis’ investment team members have worked together for over 15 years, focusing on financial services and technology in growth markets. Apis Partners is the manager of Apis Growth Fund I.

Apis Partners is highly conscious of the developmental impact that the provision of growth capital for growth markets financial services can achieve, and it has incorporated Financial Inclusion as a core tenet of its investment mandate.

As a foreign private adviser, Apis Partners is exempt from registration under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.