DPI announces an investment of 60 million euros in the COFINA Group, a “leading financial institution”

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(COFINA) – Development Partners International (“DPI”), a leading Africa-focused investment firm with $2.8 billion in assets under management, including select co-investments, announced today a significant minority investment of €60 million in a fast-growing financial institution, the Cofina Group. This transaction will enable the Cofina Group to contribute even more to economic development in West and Central Africa, by accelerating the growth of SMEs.

The Cofina Group, founded in 2014 by Jean-Luc Konan and headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, offers solutions to fill the “missing-middle” – the missing link between microfinance and traditional bank financing. – throughout West and Central Africa. Since its creation, the company has experienced rapid growth, developing new innovative products and services, while offering companies the opportunity to develop, with nearly 1.5 billion euros of credit injected into the economy to date. The Cofina Group has also significantly extended its scope of action on the continent, now with a presence in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Congo, Burkina Faso and Togo, with subsidiaries operating in each country. The company is also present in France with its subsidiary Cofina Services France, approved by the ACPR (Prudential Control and Resolution Authority).

Access to credit for entrepreneurs is still insufficient in this area where it is estimated that only 20% of African SMEs have access to bank loans. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimated the financing gap for African SMEs at $331 billion. Faced with this situation, the Cofina Group is taking advantage of the development of a rapidly emerging middle class and an enterprising youth who are in high demand for its products and services, thus contributing to its continued growth.

DPI’s investment will support the Cofina Group in its desire to confirm its leading position, by pursuing its ambitious expansion plan based on the proven model of existing markets. The Cofina Group wishes to increase investment in innovation, by strengthening its offer of products and services adapted to the evolving needs of customers. In this context, the partnership will also enable the Cofina Group to launch new and differentiated products and services, in order to reach a greater number of customers.

Jean-Luc KONAN, Founder and CEO of the COFINA Group, commented : “Despite the difficulties linked to the pandemic, the Cofina Group has demonstrated its resilience and above all the relevance of its economic model adapted to African ecosystems. Building on this success, we now have DPI, a particularly experienced and trusted investor, at our side. As the Cofina Group opens this new chapter, this transaction will allow us to strengthen our equity to consolidate our positioning and accelerate our digital transformation. » This announcement reaffirms DPI’s commitment to creating sustainable economic and societal impact across Africa, with financial inclusion being essential to the social and economic development of the continent. By applying its impact assessment framework and its CSR policy, DPI will help the Cofina Group to strengthen its resilience and sustainability by assessing the broader impacts of the company and bringing it into line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As an active investor, DPI will partner with the experienced management team of the Cofina Group to accelerate its strategy that will create lasting impact. The Cofina Group has already demonstrated significant progress and commitment in areas such as gender equality, and supports more than 250,000 customers, 43% of whom are women. The company is part of the global “2X Challenge” initiative on gender, in recognition of the high proportion of women in leadership positions and the positive impact of its products on the empowerment of women.

Babacar KA, Partner at DPI, said:“The Cofina Group is a promising company which has undergone significant development since its creation and which, under the leadership of Jean-Luc, has established itself as one of the main players in the region. There is significant demand in the SME market for the products and services offered by the Cofina Group, which will help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, while promoting financial inclusion and creating a positive impact on African economies. We are delighted to join the Cofina Group as investors and look forward to working with Jean-Luc and his top management to continue to realize his vision. »

DPI was advised by ASAFO & Co, and KPMG. The Cofina Group was advised by ADNA.

About DPI

DPI is a leading Africa-focused investment firm, which has successfully advised funds through both ‘up’ and ‘down’ cycles. Its first two funds, African Development Partners I and II (ADP I and ADP II), are ranked in the top quartile for performance by Cambridge Associates. DPI currently manages $2.8 billion in assets across its committed funds and co-investments.

The ADP Funds strategy is to build a diversified pan-African portfolio of private equity investments in established and growing companies benefiting from the continent’s rapidly growing middle class, innovation and digital transformation. Since DPI’s inception in 2007, its funds have invested in 23 portfolio companies in 29 African countries and 17 industries. ADP’s portfolio companies employ more than 49,000 people. Thanks to DPI’s investment, 18,000 jobs have been created. In 2020, ADP III became the first flagship 2X fund, as part of the global 2X Challenge, committing to integrating a gender perspective into its investment process and reflecting DPI’s long-standing commitment to gender equality. gender equality. The co-founder and managing director of DPI is a woman, one third of the partners are women and 50% of the members of the firm are women. As a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Operational Principles for Impact Management, DPI promotes high ESG and impact standards and seeks to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals United.

About the Cofina Group

Founded in 2014, the COFINA Group is the first African financial institution dedicated to mesofinance, the “missing link” between microfinance and traditional banking which offers the possibility for African SMEs (90% of private companies on the continent) to access more easily on credit. Present in eight African countries (Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Senegal, Togo) and with a subsidiary in Paris (France), approved by the ACPR, and dedicated to the African Diaspora; COFINA has already financed more than 125,000 business projects, 48% of which are led by women entrepreneurs. The Institution has established itself in recent years as the reference in terms of financing small and medium-sized enterprises in West and Central Africa. COFINA has set itself the challenge of reducing the financial divide suffered by a large part of the new African middle class. With nearly 1,400 employees, COFINA manages a portfolio of more than 250,000 clients, 43% of whom are women, spread over its nine countries of presence. As of December 31, 2021, the institution posted a total balance sheet of 465 million euros.


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