Egypt - Affirma Capital is a private equity firm that was established in 2019 after the acquisition of the direct investment platform of Standard Chartered Bank by its management team. The firm has over 50 investments across six regions: China, India, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Africa, and the Middle East.

The firm recently acquired a minority stake in Nerhadou International, a leading healthcare company in Egypt, for $20 million in partnership with Stone Pine Partners Ltd. This was the firm’s first investment in Egypt.

Investment opportunities and challenges in Egypt

Taymour Labib, the founding partner and head of Middle East and North Africa at Affirma Capital, revealed that the firm is considering more direct investment opportunities in the Egyptian market in the near future.

He said that the Egyptian market has promising and attractive investment potential despite the economic challenges it faces. He also said that Egypt is one of the top countries that attract investment in Africa.

Labib added that the large population size creates promising opportunities for the consumer sector, especially in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, food, and financial technology.

He also said that the firm is currently managing assets worth over $3.5bn and that it targets medium-sized enterprises with investments ranging from $20m to $100m. He declined to disclose the number or value of the opportunities that the firm is currently exploring.

Government IPO programme

Labib said that the firm is not interested in the government IPO programme, which aims to offer stakes in 32 state-owned companies to private investors. He said that the program is important for the country to overcome its economic challenges, but it does not fit the firm’s investment strategy.

He added that these challenges, such as high inflation, interest rates, and exchange rates, are not unique to Egypt, but affect all emerging markets.

Labib suggested that the solutions available for the Egyptian government are to attract more foreign investments, reduce imports, and increase exports to provide dollar liquidity.

He also said that crises usually create good investment opportunities that countries should take advantage of.

Investment plans in Africa

Labib said that Africa is receiving attention from Affirma Capital and that there is a plan to increase the volume of investments in the continent. He said that Nigeria in particular has promising investment opportunities in the consumer sector.

He also said that his firm focuses on investing in southern and eastern Africa, as well as Nigeria, as these regions have become very promising.

Mergers and acquisitions activity

Labib said that there is significant activity in mergers and acquisitions deals in the Middle East and North Africa region, as companies and institutions seek to partner with financial investors and strategic players despite the global situation.

He said that the sectors that have recently witnessed more mergers and acquisitions deals are healthcare and technology.

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