Wednesday, January 11, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has provided $50 million in financing to SigmaBleyzer Southeast European Fund IV, a private equity buyout fund established to make equity and equity-related investments in southeast European private and public companies.
The fund has called 100 percent of committed capital from its limited partners and currently holds a portfolio of four platform investments, including Volia Limited (cable television), Covalact SA (dairy), Elandia Holdings Limited (retail pharmaceutical), and Harmelia Investments Limited (agriculture). This is the first private equity investment made by OPIC in Ukraine since restoring its programs in the country following the signing in December 2010 of an agreement resolving a dispute over an insurance claim paid by OPIC.
“The SigmaBleyzer fund will bring new investment into the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, a goal we all support. It also marks OPIC’s return to Ukraine after the better part of ten years. We are excited about the many new possibilities for OPIC to support private sector development in Ukraine,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield.
“SigmaBleyzer is excited to partner with OPIC in further extending our ongoing commitment to invest in Ukraine and the other emerging economies of Eastern Europe. We believe there are significant opportunities to develop the companies, and economies, in which we’re invested, and we’re focused on creating value for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to broadening our relationships in the region and achieving outstanding returns for our investors,” said SigmaBleyzer President and CEO Michael Bleyzer.
SigmaBleyzer is a private equity firm with an investment and operating history since 1994. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, with significant operations in Eastern Europe, SigmaBleyzer specializes in control investments in turnaround and distressed situations. SigmaBleyzer currently manage assets valued at approximately $1 billion across six investment vehicles and is one of the largest and most experienced private equity investors in Eastern Europe, with over 100 full-time investment professionals focused on control investments in companies operating in attractive and fast growing industries in Ukraine, Romania and Kazakhstan. The firm also has a team of professionals in Houston and Dallas targeting buyout opportunities in Texas, focused on control investments in turnaround and distressed situations. SigmaBleyzer’s activity is supported by The Bleyzer Foundation - an international non-profit, non-government organization established in 2001 by Michael Bleyzer. The mission of The Bleyzer Foundation is to promote the development of the private sector and the use of best practices in government policies to create investment-friendly and business-friendly environments. www.sigmableyzer.com
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 276,000 American jobs.