Lebanon Businessnews News

Libank invests
in M Publishing
Two more deals are still in the pipeline
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Levant Investment Bank (Libank), a Beirut-based investment and private bank, announced today a $2.5 million investment in M Publishing (M), the nascent division of the Quantum Group of companies specialized in digital content sourcing, repurposing, and distribution.

This investment comes in line with circular 331 of the Central Bank (BDL), which encourages banks to invest in startups in the field of knowledge economy.

“Our decision to enter into a new investment partnership with M Publishing reflects a strategic resolve to diversify our investment portfolio beyond conventional avenues,” said Tony Ghorayeb, Chairman of Libank.

M has pre-money capital of $6.5 million invested through Quantum Group. The company is seeking a $15 million investment, out of which $2.5 million were subscribed by Libank and $2 million were injected by Mercury Media, a company affiliated to the Quantum Group.

“We are in negotiations with other institutional investors to raise the remaining $10.5 million,” said Nadim Asmar, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Quantum Group.

M will offer a unique Arabic blend of published material, acquired content, original productions, and viewer-created media across various formats, ranging from film to music and e-books. M will acquire content licensing and also produce its own.

“We will be helping M in content acquisition, licensing, and business plan financing,” said Salim Chaar, Chief Executive Officer at Libank. The investment period in M is seven years. The exit may be through an Initial Public Offering or the sale of the company to an institutional investor.

Libank has two other deals in the pipeline. The first consists of investing in a startup related to e-learning and the second concerns investing in a startup that provides Information Technology (IT) training to entrepreneurs.

“We are focusing on investing in knowledge economy fields related mainly to the education sector,” said Ghorayeb.

Banks have financed investment funds and startups, with about $200 million out of $400 million dedicated by the BDL to the knowledge economy sector, according to the BDL.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Mar 23, 2015
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