Project detail - MARIS LIMITED


Status: Approved investment
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The information as disclosed is indicative and provided on an "as-is/as available" basis for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or investment advice, nor as a commitment or an offer to arrange or provide any financing. The final decision to provide financing is subject to the terms and conditions of FMO in its sole and absolute discretion. When providing links to other sites, FMO bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. The information on proposed investment for high-risk investments is made available in the language relevant to the country or region where the bulk of operations take place. Translations of any information into languages other than English are intended as a convenience for local stakeholders. In case of any discrepancy, the information provided in English will prevail.

Who is our customer

Maris is an SME focused investment holding company, with start-ups and early stage investments in which FMO (Massif) invested in 2010. Maris started out as a fund structure and was transformed into a holding company in September 2014. The Company makes investments in sectors and geographies that have little or no formal mechanisms for investment, many of which are post conflict or fragile states. Maris uses its management’s experience in emerging and frontier markets to develop and grow its portfolio companies into scalable and cash generative businesses, while making use of active and constructive community engagement and further pro-active ESG risk management.

What is our funding objective?

This investment represents a follow-on investment in an existing FMO investee. Since converting into a Permanent Capital Vehicle, Maris has grown its portfolio well, and exhibited stable financial performance amid tough macroeconomic conditions in many of its markets. The Company is now embarking on a capital raise which will allow it to continue its upward trajectory both in terms of financial performance as well as impact given the Company’s exposure is in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The Company is seeking a total amount of USD50-60m in its capital raise, which will be used to make new investments as well as invest in expansion of some existing portfolio companies. FMO will invest up to a 19% shareholding in the Company following the capital raise.

Why do we fund this investment?

This investment presents FMO with the opportunity to continue its support for a strong regional investment company/manager with whom FMO has an established and healthy relationship. Maris’ key strength lies in its ability to make and manage successful investments in (very) difficult markets; its geographic positioning offers FMO diversified exposure to frontier markets, with the Company’s business management acumen in its portfolio companies translating into attractive risk-adjusted returns and strong ESG performance. FMO’s re-commitment to this investment will also have a strong signaling effect in attracting additional new capital to the Company.

What is the Environmental and Social categorization rationale?

From an E&S risk perspective, the Fund is categorized as category A based on Maris’ portfolio. All IFC Performance Standards are potentially relevant: PS1-2 are relevant in all sectors, 1-4 in most and 1-8 relevant in mining and forestry sectors. Maris is aware of the heavy and difficult-to-manage impact when these (5/7) performance standards are triggered and what is then expected from the company, hence does its utmost to stay away from these impacts. Relevant EHS Guidelines: Mining, Forest Harvesting Operations, Sawmilling and Wood-based Products, Annual Crop Production, Perennial Crop Production. Maris has a full-fledged ESMS in place, and its ESG performance is under constant monitoring of FMO’s ESG team. A key driver in the rationale for this investment is to continue the improvement and implementation of best E&S practices in the Maris portfolio.

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