Michelmores supports Proparco and Global Partnerships on Microfinance debt programme by BRAC

Michelmores has advised Proparco and Global Partnerships (GP) on their participation as the first investors in a debt programme established by the international arm of one of the world's largest development organisations, BRAC.

The transformative international debt programme has been launched by BRAC International Microfinance, with the aim of providing far wider financial access and support to clients, primarily women living in poverty in hard-to-reach areas, across Africa and Asia.

BRAC was founded in Bangladesh in 1972 by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and it is renowned as one of the largest and most impactful development organisations in the world. The first debt issuance by the programme is linked to BRAC International Microfinance's COVID-19 rebuilding efforts, making liquidity available to households living in poverty.

The Michelmores team, comprising of Tim Walker, Karen Williams (both Banking & Finance) and Harry Trick (Corporate / Emerging Markets), acted as lead legal counsel to Proparco and Global Partnerships on their participation as the first investors in the debt programme.

Proparco is the private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group), the French Government's development finance institution. It has been promoting sustainable economic, social, and environmental development for over 40 years. Proparco finances companies whose activity contributes to creating jobs and decent incomes, providing essential goods and services, and combating climate change.

GP is a US based impact-first investment fund manager that is dedicated to expanding opportunities for people living in poverty. GP's affiliated funds deploy capital to social enterprises that deliver market-based products and services that empower people to earn a living and improve their lives.

Thomas Eloy, Head of Debt Department at Proparco, commented:

Proparco is proud to collaborate for the first time with BRAC, a leading player in microfinance. We are glad to participate in the launch of the capital markets programme with BRAC International and its six entities located in priority countries for Proparco. Supporting the financial inclusion of populations that are usually excluded from formal financial services is a mission that BRAC achieves with exemplarity. We hope this first deal will pave the way for other operations between our two entities”.

Megan Muir, General Counsel and COO of Global Partnerships, added:

"Michelmores played a key role assisting the Global Partnerships funds in completing this complicated – but important - transaction. Their lawyers were consistently skilled, practical, and thoughtful. We benefited greatly from their assistance as well as that of the Proparco team."

Commenting on the launch of the debt programme, Shameran Abed, the Executive Director of BRAC International and Managing Director of BRAC International Holdings B.V. said

Launching a capital markets debt programme represents a step-change in how BRAC International will finance the delivery of its microfinance products and services across all of its operations in Asia and Africa. We are now in a stronger position to secure continuous funding to provide far greater value to the hundreds of thousands of clients that we already serve and to achieve greater impact at scale by serving hundreds of thousands more who are outside of the formal financial system.”

Palladium Impact Capital, a specialist impact investment bank and part of the Palladium Group, acted as the sole financial advisor to BRAC International Microfinance.

Courageous Capital Advisors, LLC, served as a specialist advisor to BRAC International Microfinance.

Reed Smith, LLP acted as international legal counsel and BarentsKrans acted as Dutch legal counsel to BRAC International Microfinance.

Van Campen Liem acted as Dutch legal counsel to Proparco and GP.