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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) today approved US$65mn in financing for the establishment of a private equity investment fund that will support investments in southeast Europe. The target capitalisation for the fund is about US$200mn, with a first closing targeted at US$100mn.

The fund, called Southeast Europe Equity Fund II, will make equity investments in a diversified range of companies and sectors in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovenia and Turkey. Up to 20% of the fund may be invested in neighbouring countries including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Poland and Slovakia.

Opic selected as fund manager Bedminster Capital Management of Bedminster, New Jersey, which manages the Southeast Europe Equity Fund, a US$200mn southeast Europe investment fund supported by Opic that was organised in 2000.

“The first Southeast Europe Equity Fund is one of the top performing funds in the region, and we have every reason to expect similar success from this fund, given improving economic prospects in southeastern Europe and the management team’s regional experience,” says Opic president and CEO Peter Watson. “Opic is pleased to help provide a timely response to the need for private capital in southeastern Europe, by supporting direct investment in the region.”