Middle East Venture to run Bader Fund
European Investment Bank and Averroès Finance drop out of fund after agreement
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Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) announced that it has won the bid to manage Bader's Building Block Equity Fund (BBF). The agreement, which will be signed by the end of the year, would make the Beirut-based venture capital firm the official manager of BBF.

MEVP competed with Abraj Capital and Capital Trust Fund for the management of BBF. It won four out of five votes of the committee, which comprised Fransabank, Med Bank, M1 Group, as well as the European Investment Bank and Averroès Finance.

MEVP said that it has to find local investors to compensate for the exit of the two European investors that contributed to 46.7 percent in the initial fund. The European Investment Bank (22.5 percent) and Averroès Finance, an investment capital fund for Mediterranean countries (24.2 percent), withdrew from the fund after MEVP won the contract. A source close to MEVP said that the two European investors had a disagreement with the former managers of the fund and thus requested that they be replaced. The BBF was previously managed by three individual investors Naji Rizk, Fadi Daou, and Maurice Khawam.

The BBF is an independent entity from Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program. Bader raised $17 million for the Building Block Equity Fund in 2007. The fund’s current equity is $8 million. MEVP plans to boost the number with an additional $2 million. The lifetime of the fund is six years.

The fund will target investments in new technologies such as mobile applications, online games, and digital media. MEVP will be a partner in the projects the fund invests in. It will have 20 percent of the profits. MEVP said that it will invest between $500,000 and $1 million per firm over a period of three years. The investments will be exclusively dedicated to local companies and will be equally divided between start-ups and companies that already have stable sources of income.
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Date Posted: Sep 20, 2011