The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has announced that it is supporting the ongoing operations and expansion of Jafara Group Limited, a company that produces, bottles, and distributes drinking water, juice, and harissa in Libya. The project was underwritten through MIGA's Small Investment Program, and is the first use of a World Bank Group lending or guarantee instrument in Libya.
MIGA's investment guarantee of $9.8 million backs a shareholder loan from Inter MIMS Investment Limited of Mauritius to Jafara Group Limited, a subsidiary of Inter MIMS Investment Limited and part of a leading industrial group from Bosnia, MIMS d.o.o. The loan is financed through an investment by the Pan-African Private Equity Fund, AfricInvest Fund II, in Inter MIMS. The guarantee has a term of up to 10 years and provides coverage against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
"Investment into Libya dropped dramatically as the 2011 war unfolded and is only now at the very early stages of recovery," says MIGA's Executive Vice President, Izumi Kobayashi. "We hope our support for this project will have an important catalytic effect for developmentally beneficial foreign direct investment into Libya."
Inter MIMS' shareholder loan will support the expansion of Jafara's production capacity, including the construction of an additional warehouse, increased bottling capacity, and a new air treatment system for the factory. Jafara employs over 150 people and has operated continuously during the civil conflict.
"With the support of MIGA, we are confident about moving ahead with our expansion plans," says Mr. Mujo Selimovic, Inter MIMS' Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to supplying Libyan consumers with safe drinking water, juice, and harissa – a staple in the Libyan diet – we also spend nearly €6.5 million yearly in the purchase of local goods and services, and conduct outreach activities with schools and hospitals."