Africa has by far the lowest levels of domestic credit extended to the private sector by banks and the credit gap for businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa is currently estimated between USD 70 to 90 billion per annum.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardised years of hard-won development gains in Africa. Fresh infusions of credit will be an important stimulus to economic recovery. With limited debt available due to stringent qualification criteria and risk-averse lenders post-COVID-19, combined with difficulties for equity investors to complete new transactions in the current environment, the financing gap for businessesis widening dramatically. In this context, a mezzanine financing solution is attractive to entrepreneurs that are facing liquidity issues or are looking for patient capital to finance their growth. Irrespective of the current pandemic, mezzanine remains an attractive asset class for entrepreneurs that do not want to dilute their equity ownership.
Vantage Capital is a repeat SIFEM partner as SIFEM committed in the past to Vantage Mezzanine Fund I and Vantage Mezzanine Fund III. Of note, Vantage Capital committed for the first time to develop a climate policy based on the framework provided by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Finally, the Fund will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure) by addressing financing gaps for companies, will contribute to corporate governance structures and processes of its investees (SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals), and will create and support decent work opportunities (SDG 8).