A group of private Lebanese investors, made up of Palladium and its asset management arm Bamboo Capital Partners in addition to Cedar Oxygen, have entered into a strategic partnership to develop a $500 million fund.
The Lebanon Economic Empowerment Fund (LEEF) will provide loans to local privately-owned businesses specifically small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The parties have signed an agreement to design, structure, and launch LEEF. The fund will provide economic relief and support the recovery of the private sector. It will focus on sectors targeting the primary needs of households and contributing to employment and value creation.
LEEF will provide debt capital and credit facilities to help businesses improve their competitiveness, maximize production, and job creation. It will primarily focus on productive value-added sectors with a potential to become financially sustainable in the future.
The LEEF partnership seeks to harness the financial resources of development finance institutions and the Diaspora to support the SMEs. Palladium, Bamboo and Cedar Oxygen will jointly develop and manage LEEF which will be established in Luxembourg. The fresh equity raised by the fund will benefit from an existing pool of debt capital and will provide targeted credit to eligible borrowers.
Palladium is a global leader in economic development and consultancy services with direct work experience in Lebanon. Bamboo Capital’s investment expertise is in the Lebanese microfinance sector.
Palladium and Bamboo Capital Partners have worked for nearly 60 years with corporations, governments, investors and communities to deliver positive impact projects and funds in over 90 countries. Palladium boasts a track record of successfully implementing projects covering a broad spectrum, from development finance and impact investment to humanitarian aid and logistics, infrastructure, and corporate consulting. It designs innovative solutions and business incubators and accelerators in the world’s most challenging contexts to develop economic corridors and bring blended finance and innovative access to capital.
Cedar Oxygen was established in 2020 as a private and independent initiative to address the pressing social and economic difficulties of Lebanese manufacturers. It provides trade finance lending, capital expenditure facilities and loans for the purchase of renewable energy technologies to industrialists while helping them focus their efforts on making the maximum positive social impact.
Published by Lebanese Opportunities on November 25, 2021.