May 22 2012
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Siraj Fund Management Company signs $30 million financing agreement with OPIC
Siraj PalestineFund 1 is the first private equity fund dedicated to investment in Palestiniancompanies
Washington, D.C., 22 May 2012: SirajFund Management Company (Siraj) and the OverseasPrivate Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's developmentfinance institution, concluded an agreement providing $30 million in financingto the first private equity fund designed to invest in companies operating in thePalestinian Territories. The fund will inject much-needed capital into smallbusiness enterprises across a variety of sectors of the Palestinian economy.
The SirajPalestine Fund 1 is designed to invest in start-ups and small and medium-sizedenterprises, with a focus on companies with the potential to become marketleaders or expand their operations internationally. The new Siraj fund was oneof five funds approved byOPIC's Board of Directors in June 2010 as part of President BarackObama's initiative to provide U.S. support for technological development inMuslim countries. OPIC selected as fund manager Siraj Fund Management Company , aRamallah-based company owned by MassarInternational. The fund had an initial target capitalization of $80million, but ultimately raised $90 million, including the OPIC financing.
Siraj Palestine Fund I has already investedin four companies - PalGaz, a gas distribution company endeavoring tobecome a market leader in liquefied petroleum gas distribution; Wassel, alogistics and distribution services company; Nakheel, an agriculturalproducts company specialized in the production and sale of Medjool dates; and ZiadehConsulting and Engineering, an engineering firm that provides architecturaldesign, supervision and project management services. In addition to these fourinitial investments, five more were approved in April 2012 and many morepromising deals are in the pipeline.
OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield added, "Aviable private equity sector and small business financing infrastructure aretwo telltale developments in the growth of any emerging market. The fact thatSiraj Palestine Fund I contributes to both is an outstanding feature of thisinvestment fund. It will help tounleash the potential of Palestinian businesses, while promoting technologicaladvancements and sustainable development."
The signing of the financing agreement inWashington, D.C. took place at the opening of the OPIC meeting of generalpartners managing OPIC-supported private equity investment funds, hosted by theagency's Investment Funds Department.
AboutSiraj Fund Management Company
The Siraj Fund Management Company wasfounded by Massar International for the sole purpose of managing investmentfunds in the Palestinian Territories. Its first fund, the Siraj Palestine FundI, was launched on February 3, 2011, to provide direct equity investments toviable start-ups and SMEs across various economic sectors. Siraj's investmentsare intended to promote technological advancement and spur economic growth, jobcreation and innovation. Siraj will launch more funds focused on thePalestinian market in the future with the intent of significantly contributingto the sustainable development of the country.
OPIC is the U.S. Government'sdevelopment finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to helpsolve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreignpolicy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S.businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs andgrowth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its missionby providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance,and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of theU.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no netcost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expandingbusiness enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC hassupported nearly $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated$74 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 275,000 American jobs.
© Press Release 2012
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