Unitus Equity Fund L.P. Invests $1,000,000 in Credex

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Sep 2006
Redmon, USA , September, 06 2006 - The Unitus Equity Fund L.P., a private equity fund which invests in emerging microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Asia and Latin America, today announced an investment in Credex (Grupo Crediexpress S.A. de C.V.), an MFI in Mexico. The Fund's investment of $1,000,000, its first investment in Mexico, will support Credex's work to bring financial services to more of Mexico's poor. The Unitus Equity Fund is affiliated with Unitus, Inc., a leading microfinance organization based in Redmond, Washington. Co-investing with the Unitus Equity Fund in Credex are Controladora Project S.A. de C.V., a Mexican investment fund, and several individual Mexican investors.

With 15 branches in seven Mexican states, Credex is one of the fastest- growing MFIs in Mexico, serving more than 12,000 clients. Credex, founded in 2002, targets the working poor in southwestern and central Mexico and has plans to expand across the nation.

Credex's founder and CEO, Eduardo Gallardo, has more than 22 years of experience in Mexico's commercial finance industry. Mr. Gallardo, formerly the Divisional Director of the Mexican Western Region for Bancomer-BBV, Mexico's leading commercial bank, started Credex with the goal of establishing a dominant microfinance player. Credex has a senior management team made up of experienced commercial and investment bankers who believe strongly in the microfinance opportunity in Mexico.

The Credex Board of Directors is comprised of Mr. Gallardo and leading finance professionals and entrepreneurs who seek to make a difference. Board members include Jose Madariaga, Emilio Bezanilla, Francisco Beckmann, and Rafael Barroso. Jose Madariaga is one of the foremost bankers in Mexico. During his career he presided over the Mexican Stock Exchange for two terms and was the President of the Mexican Bankers Association. Emilio Bezanilla has enjoyed a long executive career in a number of financial sectors in Mexico and is a shareholder in several companies. Francisco Beckmann is an investor and entrepreneur who owns majority interests in a number of companies in the agricultural, spirits and commercial sectors. He is among the main shareholders and was Vice President of Production for Tequila Cuervo, the largest tequila company in Mexico. Rafael Barroso manages several construction, development and import companies and has overseen the development and construction of two shopping centers.

As part of the investment, Chris Brookfield and Humberto Banuelos will also join the Credex board. Brookfield is Investment Director of the Unitus Equity Fund. Banuelos has 23 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently the CEO of Progress Wealth Management, a company specializing in international private banking. In 2005 he was Vice President of the Florida International Bankers Association.

Said Unitus Equity Fund Investment Director Chris Brookfield: "Credex was chosen for its excellent leadership team, entrepreneurial spirit, aggressive growth plans, transparent organization, and its commitment to innovative lending methodologies. We look forward to working with Credex because we believe that bringing financial services to the poor in Mexico will be a great investment."

"We're delighted to be the Unitus Equity Fund's first investment in Mexico," said Credex Founder and CEO Eduardo Gallardo. "Since we started in 2002 Credex has achieved tremendous growth. With the Fund's investment, we're in a position to finalize the implementation of our new microfinance methodology and provide financial services to even more of Mexico's working poor and underserved population. That we can attract international financing such as the Unitus Equity Fund highlights the effectiveness of our pro-growth strategy and the strength of our organization."



Source : Yahoo Finance
 

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